Sports

Michael Chandler Finished Dan Hooker In The First Round Of His UFC Debut

Michael Chandler (22-5) earned a first-round TKO against Dan Hooker (20-10) in his UFC debut Saturday night at UFC 257 from Fight Island.

Hooker took advantage of his range advantage early on, tossing calf kicks and staying just outside Chandler’s heavy hands. Chandler opened up midway through the first and stunned the former title contender with a right hand body shot followed by a huge left hook, before ground-and-pounding his way to a TKO victory.

Chandler is a three-time lightweight champion in Bellator, concluding his run with the promotion with back-to-back knockout wins over Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson.

Hooker entered the Octagon looking to get back into the lightweight title picture following his decision loss to Dustin Poirier back in June. Prior to that loss, Hooker had rattled off three-consecutive wins over the likes of Al Iaquinta and Paul Felder.

With the win, Chandler is potentially in contention for a return bout against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who admitted he wanted to be impressed by the UFC 257 contenders. Should Nurmagomedov chose not to step back into the Octagon, Chandler is a choice for UFC president Dana White should the organization vacate the title, with a showdown against the winner of Conor McGregor-Daniel Poirier or Charles Oliveira, who dominated Tony Ferguson in December.

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