A pivotal lightweight showdown pitting Michael Chandler against Dan Hooker is official for the UFC 257 co-main event.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the booking to broadcast partner ESPN following an initial report from The Schmo last week. UFC 257 takes place at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 23 and is headlined by a 155-pound clash between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Chandler will make his highly-anticipated UFC debut after a successful stint with Bellator MMA that saw him capture lightweight gold on three different occasions. The former University of Missouri wrestler enters the matchup with Hooker riding the momentum of back-to-back first-round KO victories against Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson. Before being paired with Hooker, Chandler made weight to serve as an alternate for the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Justin Gaethje headliner at UFC 254.
Hooker, meanwhile, will return for the first time since a memorable five-round decision defeat at the hands of Poirier in the UFC on ESPN 12 headliner this past June. Prior to that, “The Hangman” scored successive victories over Paul Felder, Al Iaquinta and James Vick. The City Kickboxing representative has won seven of his last nine UFC bouts.
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