For the first time in his UFC career, featherweight Chase Hooper suffered a nasty knockout loss in the Octagon at UFC Vegas 63.
Hooper lost to Steve Garcia on the UFC Vegas 63 prelims on Saturday. The loss was his first defeat by finish in his professional career and his first loss of any kind since UFC 263.
Hooper, one of the most hyped prospects when he made his debut, has now lost three of his last five. He earned a shot in the UFC following a win on Dana White‘s Contender Series.
After the disappointing loss, Hooper is trying to remain positive and continue to develop and realize his potential.
Chase Hooper Addresses Brutal Knockout Loss To Steve Garcia
In a recent tweet, Hooper addressed his fans following the first-round knockout defeat.
“Everybody has a bad night at the office every now and then, mine just happens to be broadcast live for the world to see,” Hooper said. “Obviously things didn’t go to plan. Got clipped early being dumb and didn’t end up recovering. It sucks to not be able to show off the work that’s been put in by me and everyone else over the past few months whose been behind the scenes trying to help get me ready, and all of the grueling hours and weeks spent dieting and cutting weight. No excuses. To me, a man takes responsibility and doesn’t shy away from negative things in life, and that’s what I plan on doing. Taking a bit of time off to rest up and assess a few things and then it’s back to the drawing board.”
Hooper earned a TKO win entering UFC Vegas 63 over Felipe Colares back in May. He showcased vastly improved striking but wasn’t able to replicate it in his latest performance.
Hooper, arguably one of the top grapplers in the featherweight division, still has a big weakness on the feet. To compete against some of the top featherweights, he’ll need to continue to improve his striking.
At 23 years old, Hooper is a prospect to watch and will look to make a statement in his return.
What do you think is next for Chase Hooper?