“[Oliveira] is champ material and he’s proven that against very good guys and he’s good everywhere; he’s very experienced and he’s always very relaxed. I like him as a person; he’s not a trash talker, he is serous and that makes him dangerous. I respect him a lot and that’s why I know he’s one of the toughest matchups for anyone, including Michael Chandler,” Hooft said of Oliveira. “Both of these guys deserve this fight and it’s the type of fight that fans won’t want to miss.”

Hooft thinks that Oliveira’s explosiveness and his size will be key challenges that Chandler has to face when the two clash inside Toyota Center on Saturday. But he’s confident that Chandler’s wrestling skills and his natural power will be a deciding factor in the bout.

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And while the Sanford MMA head coach admits that anything can happen in a fight, he’s confident that Chandler will leave Houston with the gold he’s always wanted.

“Honestly, it didn’t matter who Michael fought for the belt because at the end of the day you have to beat the guy in front of you to become champion and Michael’s skills and his mind can’t be beaten right now,” Hooft said. “I see him having more fun and he’s smiling more. He’s happier and you need to feel good to be good. Michael has momentum and he’s going to capitalize on it.”


Don’t miss Chandler’s UFC lightweight title fight with Oliveira, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 15, 2021. Prelims begin at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT and the PPV main card kicks off at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.