Two lightweight wrestling aficionados go head-to-head at UFC Fight Night 232 at the UFC Apex on Saturday night, looking to move up into the top 15 rankings and end their inconsistent form.
Here is our Hooper vs Leavitt prediction.
UFC Fight Night 232: Hooper vs Leavitt Prediction
The build-up to this one has become pretty tasty, with Jordan Leavitt claiming he wants to become the first man to submit Chase Hooper.
Whether that’s our Hooper vs Leavitt prediction or not remains to be seen but it’s likely that these two will try to out-wrestle the other and it could go all the way to a judges’ decision because of that.
Both men will try to dominate the other in holds but will their striking ability come into it?
Chase Hooper preview
It has been an up and down time for Hooper since he debuted in the organization back in December 2019.
The Dream has had seven fights in UFC and his record reads 4-3-0, having never gone back-to-back with wins or losses.
At just 24 years old though, he certainly has time to put together a run of wins and, having beaten Nick Fiore in May, that’s exactly what he’ll be looking for here.
That victory was his first decision win inside the octagon, having previously lost his two fights that had gone the distance, that’s some invaluable experience, especially as he heads into this one against another wrestler.
He’s the taller man and has a better reach than his opponent in this one, and he may need that, considering his strike defense is only 36% successful. On the other hand, Hooper’s takedown defense is 50%, significantly better than Leavitt’s.
Damn, the new poster for this weekend looks sick 👀 pic.twitter.com/RSKh7o4HI2
— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) November 13, 2023
He goes into this one as the betting favorite but that’s not necessarily how our Hooper vs Leavitt prediction is going to go.
After all, the last time the man from Enumclaw backed up one win with another was his first victory in the UFC.
His key to victory may well come down to if he has worked on his striking defense, although he does have twice as many KO wins as his opponent so his striking is not to be ruled out.
Jordan Leavitt Preview
Like his opponent on Saturday night, Leavitt has also had an inconsistent time inside the octagon, since making his UFC debut in 2020.
The 28-year-old has a record of 4-2-0 but has at least managed back-to-back wins on one occasion in his career in the organization so far.
His past two fights have seen him win one and lose one, though, having lost to Paddy Pimblett by submission in July 2022 before bouncing back with a TKO win over Victor Martinez back in February.
The Monkey King will be hoping to take inspiration from his friend Sean Strickland, and not just with his new hairstyle, with Leavitt recently thanking the middleweight champion for his advice in an interview.
Perhaps that advice is why he pulled off only the second knockout victory of his MMA career when he beat Martinez.
OH MY GOODNESS!
👑 @JoJo_MonkeyKing gets the SLAM KO, seconds into the bout!
— UFC (@ufc) December 6, 2020
The only previous time he’d won in that fashion wasn’t from striking but by slamming Matt Wilman on his head, on Leavitt’s UFC debut, nearly three years ago.
Throughout his career he has landed fewer strikes per minute than his opponent on the weekend but at a better success rate.
However, the Las Vegas native has said that he wants to be the first man to submit Hooper and he has a better takedown average and success rate than his rival.
That said, it’s the Dream’s defense and submission rates that are better, which could all play into our Hooper vs Leavitt prediction.
Hooper vs Leavitt Prediction: A Tight One To Call
Any Hooper vs Leavitt prediction is a tough one because there isn’t that much that separates them in the moneyline odds.
Hopper is the favorite at -218 and the decision is a popular choice with the Dream given odds of +150 to take it all the way to the judges and Leavitt at +450 to win by the same method, which is easily the shortest odds for either man.
The match-up might be even closer than the odds suggest so it would be foolish to rule out the underdog, although isn’t it always.
If you think one of the men can finish it early then the fight not to start round three at +150 might be the way to go, it would be optimistic to suggest it could finish in the first round, with +300 for the second round not to start.
Seeing as he finished his previous fight with a TKO, and taking into account Hooper’s poor striking defense, Leavitt coming in at +1000 to win by that method could be an interesting outside bet, ey it’s called gambling for a reason.
Hooper by submission or decision double chance comes in at -150, it won’t win you loads but it could be worth lumping on. Likewise, +140 for Hooper to win by submission or Leavitt to win by decision shows just how close this fight could be.
If you believe that Leavitt make his own dreams come true by making The Dream tap out for the first time then you can back that at +650.
We back Hooper to come through and make it back-to-back wins for the first time in his UFC career.
- Chase Hooper to win by submission or decision -150
- Chase Hooper to win by unanimous decision +180
- Chase Hooper to win in round three or by decision +110