Heading into his fight with Felipe Corales at UFC Vegas 55, featherweight Chase Hooper knew that a submission victory was likely off the table.
“That one D’arce a little bit, for a second,” Hooper responded. “Then I was like ‘Ahh, it’s not quite where I want it to be; it’s towards the end of the round.’ You can hear him gargling a little bit, but then that angle changed. And I was like ‘it’s not quite there.'”
The 22-year-old has been working hard to improve his striking but is most comfortable on the mat. Of his ten pro wins coming into this fight, five were by submission. Despite his skills as a grappler, Hooper’s coach made sure to let “The Dream” know that he shouldn’t expect to snatch a submission win against Corales.
“My coach actually told me between rounds and he was telling me before the fight. But it’s so hard to break of like, ‘Stop going for submissions.’
“With this guy, he’s Brazilian. He’s not gonna want you to sub him out. He’s not gonna want some little American white kid to take his sport, his Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He’s not gonna let me sub him, which was an excellent adjustment for my coach to have me do and I shifted to going for more of the TKO.”
While Hooper did grapple effectively throughout the fight and looked for several submissions, his coach must have been satisfied when “The Dream” finally earned the TKO victory in the third round.
This matchup with Corales was Hooper’s first fight in close to a year following a unanimous decision loss to Steven Peterson at UFC 263. The 22-year-old featherweight is now 11-2-1 overall and 3-2 in the UFC, with all three of those wins coming via stoppage.
What do you think of Hooper’s comments about why he couldn’t submit Felipe Corales?