UFC 257 – January 23, 2021: Michael Chandler vs Dan Hooker

Fight Study (1/23/21)


UFC 257’s Co-Main Event will pit Michael Chandler against Dan Hooker in a lightweight bout. Hooker is the favorite in this matchup and he will carry the bigger salary in DFS contests. His salary on DraftKings is $8,500 and $19 on Fanduel. Chandler is priced at $7,700 and $18 respectively. This fight has been scheduled for three rounds and is a narrow favorite to conclude prior to the final bell at -125 to end inside the distance.

Chandler will be making his UFC debut on Saturday after a lengthy career primarily as a Bellator fighter. He has a professional record of 21-5 with 9 wins by KO/TKO, 7 wins by submission  and 5 wins by decision. He is 9-2 over his last 11 fights and is coming off of two consecutive first round knockouts. Although the level of competition across the board is not equal to that of the UFC, Bellator is one of the best promotions in MMA and he has fought his fair share of battles against high quality competition. He has a long history of finishing his opponents (with 76% of his victories coming inside the distance) and he has 12 first round finishes to his credit. He is the the more powerful fighter in this matchup, but he will give up four inches in height as well as three and a half inches in reach to his opponent.

Hooker is 20-9 as a professional including a record of 10-5 in the UFC. He has won 7 of his last 9 fights with his only losses coming from Edson Barboza and Dustin Poirier, and he has five finishes over that same span. It is this experience against the highest competition that sets him apart from Chandler. In his 20 career victories, he has 10 wins by KO/TKO, 7 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. He is the 6th ranked contender in the lightweight division and he has secured victories over the likes of Paul Felder, James Vick and Gilbert Burns amongst others. He is adept at using his length against his opponents and will have a significant edge in this department on Saturday.

Hooker will put his length to good use on Saturday and will look to touch up Chandler from distance. Clearly Chandler’s record indicates that he belongs in the UFC, but Hooker’s experiential edge against UFC level opponents creates a bigger divide in my opinion than the odds would indicate. Until a fighter proves himself inside the octagon, he cannot be considered a true UFC threat against a fighter who has proven himself over and over again. I do believe Chandler will make a good fight of this, but given Hooker’s wealth of experience in the UFC and his significant length advantage I expect Hooker to take care of business on Saturday. I don’t foresee a finish, but I do expect Hooker to keep Chandler at distance and to get the unanimous decision.

Given that I like Hooker a good deal in this fight, it should not surprise that I make him my preferred play in this matchup. I like Hooker in particular as a cash option who has upside scoring potential that may make him a decent GPP play as well. I may give Chandler some play on DraftKings in 150-max contests, but will avoid him entirely on Fanduel where his salary is much too high for my liking. I don’t expect very high scoring in this fight, however, and figure that Hooker isn’t worth more than limited exposure in GPP contests. He is, however, +180 to win inside the distance and that alone is reason enough to reserve some lineups for Hooker in tournament play.

For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 257 on January 23.


UFC 257: FIGHT #4, Muradov vs Sanchez

For Fight Study on UFC 257: FIGHT #1, McGregor vs Poirier, click HERE.

For Fight Study on UFC 257: FIGHT #3, Calderwood vs Eye, click HERE.

 

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and the NFL. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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