Meet Chase Hooper (8-0-1). He was recently signed to the UFC and is making his debut v. Daniel Teymur (7-3). This bout will take place on December 14th at UFC 245 in Las Vegas, making it one of the most highly anticipated fight cards of the year.
Hooper signing with the UFC makes him the youngest fighter on the roster at 20 years old. Yes, 20!. A young hot prospect in the featherweight division looks to take his chance under the bright lights. Leaving the regional scene behind.
Fight fans may be familiar with Hooper already as he’s recently competed on ‘Dana Whites Contender Series’. Hooper competed on DWCS back in July 2018, picking up a unanimous decision win v. Canaan Kawaihae. However. dishearteningly, Dana didn’t bring him in on the night. Following the contender series win. Hooper went on to compete at events such as CFFC 71, Island fights 54 and Titan 55. Then the UFC came calling.
Hooper’s opponent Teymur, who fights out of Stockholm, Sweden is no stranger to the altitude of the UFC. This will mark Teymur’s fifth fight under the promotion, going 1-3. It’s risky business welcoming the young hungry newcomer when potentially another loss could see Teymur get cut.
It’s always exciting for fight fans seeing young talent come through and compete at the highest level. For the hardcores, we get to watch Hooper grow as an athlete and competitor in a sense, as well as watching him mature and develop. We as fans get a sense of being on his journey with him, for now, and many years to come in his fighting career.
Hooper gracefully gave me some time ahead of his debut to answer a few questions to include within this piece, to let fans know more about the type of person he is. How he carries himself along with his mindset preparing for battle.
I got the impression that I don’t see Hooper as just a twenty-year-old kid. He has a solid mindset. For this reason, I see him being a great role model and inspiration for the next generation of young fighters.
Let’s dive in and see what Hooper had to say ahead of his UFC debut.
How has training camp been for you so far? Have you added anything different into your training schedule since the Luiz Gomez fight?
Chase Hooper – “ The Gomez fight is what I view as a nearly perfect game plan for my style. So a lot of my camp is focused on getting into the grappling as smoothly and efficiently as possible. However, for this camp, I’ve been adding more to my striking, wrestling, and cage work. I’ve been cross-training with a few different places. As well as trying to spar with more short and stocky strikers and been using my length to my advantage. Overall, everything is going really well and I’m feeling ready for December 14th”.
You currently sit at (8-0), at 20 years old, with massive potential. Being undefeated, is that something that’s on your mind going into a fight? The fear of losing that 0?”
Chase Hooper – “I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay undefeated. I felt it would be a big blow towards my progress on making it to the UFC. Now it’s a different type of stress. I still don’t want to lose, but it isn’t the same fear of not making it past the regional level. I feel more pressure on this fight to start the next chapter of my career off right and to prove that I belong in the UFC.”
How does it feel being 20 years old, and on a personal level getting the call to fight under the biggest organization in the world, as well as being on such a huge card?
Chase Hooper – “It’s insane when I actually take the time to slow down and think about being part of the UFC, and I will get to be on one of the biggest cards of recent memory. For me so much of my life is the same until I get close to fights, I still spend around 40 hours a week in the gym training, and I don’t really go out or anything, so most of my life is the same. Every now and again, somebody will come up to me and ask if I’m that kid who’s in the UFC, and that’s really cool and something I’m still getting used to. It’s crazy to think I’m the youngest fighter on the roster right now and that I’m fighting at the highest level of the world.”
Daniel has already had four fights under the UFC and experienced the pressure and bright lights. You’re making your debut, do you see this as an advantage for Daniel?
Chase Hooper – “I feel like him having more experience actually favours me. To him, this is just another fight, but to me, this is a huge deal. He obviously still wants to win, but the fact that this will be his fifth fight in the UFC, means his will to win and do whatever it takes won’t be the same as mine. I feel that the pressure I put on myself to perform at this level will help motivate me to fight harder, no matter how the fight is going.”
How do you view Daniel as an opponent, and what do you think his biggest threats are?
Chase Hooper – “He is definitely a tough fight, but there are no easy fights in the UFC. He is significantly shorter than I am, and his only real threat is his striking. As long as I’m able to use my length well, I feel like I can negate most of his striking. On the ground, I’m expecting him to just try and stand up, but if he wants to try grapple with me, he’s more than welcome to.”
I’d like to thank Chase for taking the time on getting back to me on this one and I wish him a safe camp and great health going into December 18th.
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