Chase Hooper feels like a move to the lightweight division could happen soon.
Hooper (10-2) returns for his fifth UFC fight this weekend at UFC Vegas 55. He faces Felipe Colares, who is moving up from the bantamweight division.
The 22-year-old fighter from Washington also thinks a move up a division could happen sooner rather than later.
“Probably with the way that the way my cuts are going, you know, not wanting to destroy my body, just trying to make the weight. There’s really no reason for it,” Hooper told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview. “Like, back then, I wasn’t the proper size for 155. But now I think I’m getting up there. So we’ll see how this one goes. Obviously, I’m still able to perform really well, but it’s just I’m cutting a lot of muscle that I don’t need to. And, and I think if I moved up a division, I’d be able to be in better shape and healthier overall, and be able to train harder in the lead up to the fight.”
Hooper started his professional career as a lightweight and fought at that weight four times, even winning the Combat Games Lightweight Championship. He has now fought at featherweight eight times since his original fight on Dana White’s Contender Series. He feels like he grew into the featherweight division, and now he has grown out of it. Especially because of the weight he cuts.
“It’s a decent bit, probably from like, 180 lbs which is, you know, it’s kind of weird. I grew into the weight class, and then I grew out of the weight class a little bit. So it’s a fair bit of dieting that I have to do to get down there. But yeah, like my contender fight, I think I cut from the low 150s. That’s kind of where I was walking around, and I cut water from there,” Hooper said. So with puberty setting in and it’s a whole can of worms now. Hence the reason why I need some time between fights and why I’m not taking any short notice or anything. And, yeah, is what it is.”
“The Dream” is looking to get back into the win column after almost a year layoff. He has been crosstraining with Stephen Thompson and feels like he has grown a lot since his loss at UFC 263.
He doesn’t feel like has a chip on his shoulder, however, because “I feel like I’ve kind of always had that a little bit, but it’s just [something] I’m not really trying to focus on.”
Chase Hooper faces Felipe Colares this weekend at UFC Vegas 55. Watch the rest of our interview with Hooper above.