Ever since his incredible comeback win over Peter Barrett at UFC 256, the MMA world has been wondering, where will 21-year old prospect Chase Hooper upgrade his striking at? We finally have the answer.
The youngest fighter on the UFC roster has been revealed to have been training at Upstate Karate, under the tutelage of UFC contender, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and his father, Ray Thompson Sr.
Ray Thompson said that Hooper and his son, Stephen, had been in contact for a while, noticeably streaming video games on Twitch. ‘Wonderboy’ would go on to invite Hooper to train with him and his dad at Upstate Karate in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Hooper accepted the offer, however, he would make it a mystery to his fans who he was training with.
Ray Thompson says Hooper has been training at Upstate Karate for almost 2 weeks and he’s been very impressed with Hooper’s work ethic so far.
“He’s progressing and he’s working.” Ray Thompson told MMA Island. “He works hard, makes no excuses, complains zero. He’s a young kid with a great attitude. Love working with him, I really do.”
Already being a specialist on the ground and now training in karate, Thompson believes in a bright future for “The Teenage Dream.”
“He’s a smart kid, he catches on quick. He just got all kinds of great fighting attributes for a 145er. The kids’ 6’1, he cuts that weight and he’s healthy when he does it.”
“If we can keep him coming back regularly, I think it will really, really up his game, his striking game. If he takes to some of the things that we do, oh my goodness…. The 145 bracket better be put on notice because his ground game is great. Gotta him moving, get his footwork going, get his hands snapping with punches. He drives them but doesn’t snap them.”
“Get that snap going– he’ll a much more significant fighter than he is today.
Hooper would go on Twitter and explain the reasoning for traveling cross-country to Upstate Karate, rather than going to Thailand to train with Tiger Muay Thai.
“Thailand is still pretty shut down.” said Hooper. “I would’ve had to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks to even be able to get into the country.”
“I’m getting a lot of great work in with Wonderboy and his team. Working on fixing a lot of the little details and adding some stuff as well.”
Chase Hooper will train at Upstate Karate until January 30th. Do you think this will help him take it to the next level?