Check out the LowKickMMA staff picks ahead of the UFC 257 co-main event between Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler.

Jordan Ellis: I’m backing Dan Hooker heading into this one. Despite falling short, he looked good against Dustin Poirier last time out and has been mixing it with the best for several years now. Michael Chandler is perhaps a little bit small to hang with elite level UFC lightweights in my opinion. For these reasons, I predict Hooker will KO Chandler at UFC 257.

Prediction: Dan Hooker  

Abhinav Kini: It’s been said by both fighters and I agree — Dan Hooker is a bad matchup for Michael Chandler. Matchup aside, Hooker is undoubtedly the best opponent Chandler will have faced and I just see him being too much to handle especially if the latter is unable to keep him on the ground. Hooker by R2 TKO/KO.

Prediction: Dan Hooker

Alex Lough: Man, this matchup is so hard to predict. The obvious X-factor here is Chandler’s wrestling. In Hooker’s entire UFC career, the only grapplers we’ve seen him go against are Jim Miller and Gilbert Burns. Both of them are known more for their BJJ than wrestling, and he put them both away before we saw his ground game really get tested. On the other hand, we’ve seen Chandler use his all-American pedigree to stifle his opposition, as well as utilize his boxing to put them away. I may be oversimplifying things here, but I’m going with the known commodity. Chandler grinds out a decision.

Prediction: Michael Chandler  

Chris De Santiago: I can not state how excited I am to see Michael Chandler in the UFC. I’ve been watching for many years on the Bellator scene. He is incredibly underrated, just for the reasoning that he has not fought in the UFC before. While this is his UFC debut, he has faced UFC-level opponents and future champs like Eddie Alvarez and former champs like Benson Henderson. He’s arguably beat both twice. His wrestling prowess will work wonders against The Hangman, Dan Hooker. He is hard to keep on the ground at times, however, mix the wrestling with a powerful overhand and it will be a long night for Hooker. I predict Chandler via KO.

Prediction: Michael Chandler  

Karim Nathan: For the co main I think that Chandler could not have gotten a tougher first match up in terms of whats available. Hooker has been part of wars and so has Chandler, I just have a feeling that Chandler knows he cant strike with Hooker and will look to change levels as fast as possible. Hooker has proved to have good takedown defence as well as being able to get back up quite quickly if he goes down. I feel that Chandler will gas put after going for takedown after takedown and Dan will take advantage of that getting a late third round KO win.

Prediction: Dan Hooker  

Harry O’Connor: I feel with Michael Chandler, he’s a champion from another promotion who you look at and think, he can definitely mix it up with the top lightweights in the UFC, noting that with some of his victories in the past, however as Hooker said at the press conference on Thursday, his been built on stuffing takedowns and striking, not that Chandler can only wrestle. I expect a very intense fight with lots of volume from each fighter but I think Hooker will just edge a points decision with Chandler being unable to show any dominance on the ground, therefore resulting in Hooker just edging Chandler on strikes.

Prediction: Dan hooker

Ty Rosson: Dan Hooker is a really tough fight to get for your UFC debut. He has long limbs that are hard to get a read on and a tricky knee up the middle if you decide to go for a takedown on him. That being said, Michael Chandler is a dog that you have to kill to put away. This being a three round fight benefits him the most and coupled with the speed advantage he will have, I predict a Chandler win by second round TKO

Prediction: Michael Chandler  

Declan Flahive: Dan Hooker introducing Michael Chandler to the UFC in the co-main is a sensational bout. A tall guy with great takedown defence is probably the worst matchup for Chandler, especially when you throw in the fact that the Kiwi has knees of death that could easily send the ex-Bellator champ into another dimension.
The three-round nature of this bout means both guys will be firing on all cylinders from the start. I feel like Chandler’s speed will allow him to close the distance quickly, taking Hooker’s reach advantage away from him and allowing him to go to work with his heavy hands and really test Hooker’s acclaimed takedown defence. Michael Chandler wins via third-round TKO. 

Prediction: Michael Chandler  

Ryan MacCarthy Now this is another HUGE fight with major title implications in the Lightweight division. Im more torn on this fight than I am the main event. Michael Chandler might not be as well known since he is a former bellator world champion and making his UFC Debut. But, I am here to say that Michael Chandler is capable of beating anyone in this division. He’s going to come at Hooker and try to stand and maybe go for a few takedowns as well. 
 But people are forgetting about this BAAAAD man that is Dan Hooker. In my opinion, he has a better stand up game than Michael Chandler and I believe this is a fantastic stylistic matchup for Hooker. I think he can piece up Chandler and win this fight by decision. I do think this will be super close, and possibly fight of the night. Im going to go with Dan Hooker by Split Decision.

Prediction: Dan Hooker

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.