clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 257 results: Michael Chandler demolishes Dan Hooker in first round, declares himself the new lightweight king

New, 35 comments
UFC 257: Hooker v Chandler Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chandler has officially arrived in the UFC.

The former Bellator lightweight champion signed with the UFC after entering free agency in 2020 and he proved his legitimacy as one of the best 155-pound fighters on the planet in less than three minutes in his octagon debut.

Taking on tough-as-nails New Zealand native Dan Hooker in the UFC 257 co-main event, Chandler knew the all eyes were going to be on his performance as he sought to live up to the hype surrounding his first fight with the promotion.

After a feeling out process to start the fight, Chandler came after Hooker with a signature aggression that has earned him so many wins in his career. With Hooker backing up, Chandler connected with a devastating left hand that put the No. 6 ranked lightweight on the canvas. Chandler followed up with a barrage of punches that never allowed Hooker to recover as referee Marc Goddard rushed into stop the fight before any more damage could be dished out.

The end came at just 2:30 in the opening round.

“It’s been such a long road,” Chandler said afterwards. “A lot of ups, a couple downs but every road has led me to this.”

After serving as a potential replacement for the lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, Chandler knew the spotlight was going to be even brighter for his debut.

Not only did he live up to expectations but Chandler exceeded them by dispatching Hooker inside three minutes after he just went five hard rounds with Paul Felder and Dustin Poirier in consecutive fights. Following the win, Chandler turned his attention to the best of the best in the lightweight division.

“I’ve got to get something off my chest,” Chandler shouted. “I tell you all this, this is the greatest moment in my professional life. Conor McGregor, surprise, surprise, there’s a new king of the lightweight division. Dustin Poirier, your time is coming. And Khabib, if you do see fit to grace us with your presence back here in the UFC octagon in your quest for 30-0, you’ve got to beat somebody so beat me … if you can!.”