<
>

Michael Chandler's long-awaited UFC debut will be against Dan Hooker on Jan. 23, sources say

play
Chandler calls Hooker one of the scariest lightweights in UFC (1:39)

Michael Chandler breaks down his UFC 257 opponent, Dan Hooker, calling him one of the most dangerous fighters at 155 pounds. (1:39)

Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Michael Chandler will finally make his UFC debut against Dan Hooker at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.

The 155-pound fight will serve as the co-main event on the pay-per-view card, which is headlined by a lightweight rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. UFC president Dana White broke the news to The Schmo earlier this week, and multiple sources confirmed to ESPN the matchup is now 100% agreed to and logistically set.

Chandler (21-5) signed with the UFC in September, but has not yet fought in the Octagon. The promotion tried to book him a fight against Poirier or Tony Ferguson in October, however neither came to fruition. The UFC then turned its attention to former interim champion Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira, before ultimately booking him against Hooker.

Fighting out of Nashville, Chandler is coming off a first-round knockout of former UFC champion Benson Henderson in the final fight of his Bellator contract in August. He is a former three-time lightweight champion in Bellator.

Hooker (20-9), of Auckland, New Zealand, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Poiier in June. The 30-year-old contender is 7-2 since moving up from the featherweight division in 2017. He holds notable wins over Gilbert Burns, Al Iaquinta and Paul Felder.

The UFC 257 event will take place on "Fight Island," in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.