Chase Hooper explains why he was surprised
Chase Hooper explains why he was “surprised” to finish Jordan Leavitt in the first round at UFC Vegas 82
Chase Hooper has his first win streak in the UFC.Hooper moved up to lightweight back in May and scored a decision win over Nick Fiore. He was then booked to face Jordan Leavitt at UFC Vegas 82 in a scrap he was a sizeable betting favorite.Although Hooper was the favorite, he expected the fight to play out much differently than it did. He thought the two would stand more and was surprised at how much of a grappling advantage he had over Leavitt.
“I guess in that sense for sure. But, honestly, I thought we would stand up more. I hit him with one shot on the feet and then he shot in immediately,” Hooper said to BJPENN.com. “I thought we were gonna stand up more and I thought the fight would go a little longer, I thought we were more evenly matched up on the ground than it ended up being.”
Once the two were on the mat, Chase Hooper was able to scramble to Jordan Leavitt’s back and sink in a rear naked choke at UFC Vegas 82. Although he didn’t have it in completely, Hooper says Leavitt attacked the wrong hand which allowed him to put the choke in tight.
After getting the choke, Leavitt tapped, which Hooper says did surprise him as he thought this fight would likely go the distance.
“I had the shoulder cupped and I expected him to fight the hand. He mentioned it, too, he grabbed the wrong one, he tried to grab my free hand instead, so I broke that grip and sunk it in,” Hooper explained. “I really wasn’t expecting to get the finish that quick, and when I locked it up and started squeezing, I really was like is this really it? And it happened to be the right one. I was definitely surprised, I thought the fight was going to go closer to 15 minutes than the first five.”
With Chase Hooper getting the win and improving to 2-0 at lightweight in the UFC, the hope is he can return in March or April. He also hopes to have an active 2024 as he looks to build momentum and his win streak.
“I was actually just talking to my coach, hopefully like March or April. As long as I’m healthy and still winning fights, I could bang out three fights next year and start building some momentum. This fight will be the third on my contract, so if I get three wins, it will be a nice pay bump when we renegotiate and good momentum at lightweight,” Hooper concluded.