“Nobody was expecting that. I mean the first fight was special. Of course, it was very special for me because I was in Bellator for so long with [Michael Chandler],” Henri Hooft revealed in an interview with MMA Junkie.”
Michael Chandler will take on octagon veteran Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 for the vacant UFC lightweight title. This comes after Khabib Nurmagomedov relinquished the 155-pound crown when he retired earlier this year.
Oliveira earned a title shot after collecting eight wins in a row, with notable victories over Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson.
Michael Chandler, on the other hand, could win the lightweight title in only his second UFC fight. The former Bellator lightweight champion made the most out of his promotional debut by scoring a TKO win against Dan Hooker in the first round of their bout at UFC 257.
The history of Michael Chandler and Henri Hooft:
In the same interview, Henri Hooft recalled the colorful history between him and Michael Chandler.
“I was with Eddie Alvarez first. He fought Michael. Then later on I trained with Michael and we got the belt. We lost it once, we got it back again and then he went on a great run. I think we were 10-2 or something training together. So we had some nice moments.”
Henri Hooft also revealed how Michael Chandler informed him of the decision to sign with the UFC. According to Henri Hooft, his student decided to join the UFC after defeating Benson Henderson in a rematch at Bellator 243.
“And the last fight with Benson Henderson, after that he said… when he made up his mind he said, ‘I wanna go to the UFC.’ I was like, ‘If you really wanna test yourself and the way you’ve been performing in your last couple of fights… it’s cool, man. Go there. You have nothing to lose. You’re already a champion anyway.'”
When will Michael Chandler fight Charles Oliveira?
The lightweight championship matchup between Chandler and Oliveira will take place at UFC 262, in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 15th, 2021.
A welterweight bout between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards was originally scheduled for the PPV’s co-main event. However, the bout appears to be postponed after Diaz reportedly sustained an injury.