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Devil’s Advocate | BlockBuster January for MMA

Hey BUZZ-FANS, first off I wanna hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas, and wish all of you a Happy New Year!!

Being MMA fans we’ve got an action-packed January to look forward to. First, on January 16th we’ve got a huge flyweight card with #1 ranked Max Holloway vs #5 ranked Calvin Kattar, which should definitely be a firefight, to say the least. A fight that could very well have title fight implications for the winner. Then January 20th we have a showdown for the welterweight division, but as of today, Khamzet Chimaev has been pulled for undisclosed reasons against Leon Edwards. Neil Magny who is supposed to fight Michael Chiesa is supposed to serve as the replacement, I’ll keep you updated on that fight. Then there’s the granddaddy of them all when PPV King “The Notorious” Conor McGregor has a rematch with Louisiana’s very own, “The Diamond” Dustin Poirier. A fight in which a lot of people (fighters included) believe will be for the Lightheavy Heavyweight Crown, as Khabib Nurmagamedov has retired and as of right now seems to be staying retired. Should be a fight for the ages I’m sure, but for some reason doesn’t have my interest nearly as much as the co-main event, a lightweight fight which welcomes the former Bellator Lightweight Champion “Iron” Michael Chandler to take on the tough as nails Aussie, Dan “Hangman” Hooker in what could be a number one contenders match if the main event is indeed a title match.

Nothing has been said about anything being a title fight, but it just seems to be leaning that way. To me personally, Khabib is a very strong Muslim, and your word is your word, so I believe that when Khabib promised his mother he wouldn’t fight, he will keep his promise to his mother. Either way, if any of you have followed me, you’ll know that I’m not overly fond of Michael Chandler, but it’s also my job to be unbiased and do the proper research to figure out just who I think is gonna win this fight. I’ll definitely be rooting for “The Hangman” but I’m not saying that Chandler doesn’t have talent, I just don’t really think he is as good as the Bellator people made him out to be. But then again Dana White did pay him decent money to come fight in the UFC.

Chandler, who has a 21-5 record, is coming off of a loss to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire by TKO in the very first round. A fight that happened well over a year ago, which could play a factor in the Hooker fight. Chandler has never been known for having a great gas tank, but thankfully for him, this fight is a three-round fight. That could help Chandler, and if he utilizes his wrestling, he could possibly get a decision with the “lay and pray” technique. Hooker, 20-9, is also coming off of a loss to Dustin Poirier on June 27th of this year which was a “Fight of the Night” Bonus winner. Before that he won a controversial split decision to Paul Felder on the 23rd of February, which was also a “Fight of the Night” bonus winner. Chandler’s wrestling is top-notch, a graduate of Missouri, he wrestled under Tyron Woodley, also training under him as well.

So let’s get to it, who is gonna win this fight? How is this fighter gonna win this fight? If I’m honest with myself I’m gonna have to go with “The Hangman” Dan Hooker IF he can keep this fight on the feet. Chandler has explosive power in his hands as well, but Hooker is a hard one to put away. Out of Hooker’s nine losses, only one has been by knockout. So a knockout is gonna be a hard way for Chandler to win this. But if Chandler can utilize his wrestling as I stated earlier, it’s possible he could get a good squeeze on that long neck of Hooker, and it could be an early night for Chandler. But even then Hookers’ ground game is decent enough to where if he’s taken down he can probably get himself back up a couple of times. Chandler is heavy and great at making fighters carry all of his weight around and wearing and grinding down his opponents. The real X factor for Hooker is his striking, which I would easily say is better than Chandler’s. Chandler has rudimentary striking at best, a solid one-two, and not really great kicks. Hooker’s high fainting is picture-perfect for setting up knees; especially when Chandler goes for that blast double leg, he’ll be wide open for running knee strikes to the head. Everyone has made a big deal out of this being a three-round fight, I myself said it benefits Chandler only because in my eyes because he has a better chance of not gassing out. But that is a double-edged sword, as Hooker also doesn’t have to worry about having his gas tank checked either. The striking is gonna make the difference in this fight, and the fact that Hooker has a granite chin, and elite-level striking, I can’t see Chandler getting the victory by KO unless he can grind him down to the ground and ground and pound.

So for my final assessment I just think Hooker is gonna be too much for Chandler at the beginning of this fight, he’ll keep this fight standing, and I’m gonna say possibly get an early knockout, maybe round two. But who knows, maybe Chandler is gonna come in hot, use that top-level wrestling and grab a decision based on takedowns. But all in all, I’m gonna go with “The Hangman” via KO in round one.

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