Over the course of his two fights as a pro, lightweight up and comer Chase Hooper can’t complain about much.
In both bouts, against Edson Penado last October, then against Sean Soliz in December, Hooper was able to showcase his growing stand-up game, and then finish both fights with his preferred ground skills.
“My first pro fight was kind of exactly what I wanted,” Hooper told MMAWeekly.com. “When it got to the ground it was over. When my second fight went to the ground it was over. That’s the way it’s been going. I’m happy with wins and being able to walk away without getting too hurt or anything.”
Having spent over a year in the amateur ranks prior to making his pro debut, Hooper feels he was able to make a fairly seamless transition from one to the other.
“I was kind of worried in my amateur fights that I wouldn’t have enough time for the fight,” said Hooper. “Cardio has never really been an issue for me. I definitely worry about elbows when I’m on my back. But it’s not too difficult of a transition.”
While his move to the pro ranks has come with little resistance, Hooper wouldn’t exchange the experience he was able to pick up in the amateur ranks for anything.
“I’m definitely happy I had the amateur fights,” Hooper said. “It gave me the feel of the fight and how it works. If I jumped in too quick I would have been in over my head a little bit. I definitely had some skills that would have gotten me through, but I’m happy for my amateur career.”
Hooper (2-0) will look to keep his winning streak going when he takes on Wyatt Gonzalez (1-4) in a main card 155-pound bout at CageSport 49 on Saturday in Tacoma, Wash.
“There are only a couple of things I have to worry about,” said Hooper. “I’ve been hit pretty hard before, but it hasn’t really been an issue. If it goes to the ground, it’s definitely my fight. (Gonzalez is) a little bit shorter. I’m pretty long for 155-pounds. I feel good about it.”
Still in his teens, Hooper is by no means in a rush at this moment, but he would like to be as active as possible in 2018.
“I’ll try to get maybe six fights this year,” Hooper said. “I’m still young. I’d like to fight somebody from a bigger organization. That would be nice. I’m definitely not in a rush. I’ve got plenty of time. I want to take it fight by fight, but we do want to get in a good number of fights this year if I’m healthy.”