Although it is quite extraordinary, we have seen multiple elite Strongman athletes venture out to combat sports. However, they mostly transitioned from one to the other only after they retired from Strongman. Well, the 2023 World’s Strongest Man, Mitchell Hooper, is about to change that standard, as he plans to train and compete in Strongman and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) at the same time. This news was revealed by Mitchell Hooper himself through a detailed YouTube video, where he announced Eddie Hall as his first opponent.
Mitchell Hooper recently compared his Strongman career so far to Eddie Hall’s prime, during which he revealed how much respect he has for his fellow Strongman. So, while there does not seem to be any bad blood between Hooper and Hall, the 2023 WSM and the 2017 WSM will step into the octagon, ready to leave it all on the floor in order to come out victorious. Hooper’s video covered all topics, from fight rules, venue, and date, to his future in Strongman.
Mitchell Hooper vs Eddie Hall Details
The intro to Mitchell Hooper’s video saw him explain that he has some big news prepared that no one could have possibly anticipated. He then jumped straight to the topic of his fight, revealing the exact date and venue for his bout against Eddie Hall.
“I’ve always said that I am an athlete as much as I am a Strongman, I just happen to be really good at Strongman. I want to talk about, though, exactly what is going on and exactly what my plans are, because it is not what you think it is. So, on February 17th, at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, I am going to be a part of an MMA tournament.”
However, what Mitchell Hooper had to say next came as an even bigger surprise, since he revealed that the event would be tournament-based. So, the winner of Hopper vs Hall will go through and fight again on the same night against the winner of the other duel on the fight card.
You might ask who would be fighting in the other duel. Well, it will be none other than Brian Shaw, who recently revealed that he started training for MMA. Being such a gigantic man, Brian’s opponent had to be similar to him. So, as per Mitchell Hooper, Brian will have an MMA match against Martyn Ford.
“This is going to be a tournament where I fight Eddie, Brian fights Marty Ford, and the winners, same night, fight each other.”
Mitchell Hooper then answered the next question, and that is what can be expected from him against Eddie Hall. Obviously, while he is inexperienced, Hooper still believes in himself but recognizes that he will have to work extremely hard to get to a competitive level in MMA.
“It is something that I am going to have to pick up extremely quickly. Full disclosure, I have never fought before. So, you guys are going to have a lot of content with me trying to learn what to do from ground zero… Strongman has come really, really easy to me, and frankly, I’m not sure this stuff will.”
Hooper also pointed out that the ‘2024 Finishers Championship’ will feature the biggest payout in history. Moreover, he addressed the rules for the match, revealing what will be allowed in the octagon.
“It is going to be the biggest payout for athletes in history. They want to beat the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight. They’ve got four of us, four celebrities, and they’ve got 12 professional MMA (athletes). Separate tournaments on the same evening.
The rules of this fight, I think, are Bellator rules. I think we are allowed to drop each other on our head, I think we are allowed to kick each other in the head when we are on the ground. It is a little bit more dangerous, but it is called ‘The Finishers Championship’ and the goal is really to knock each other out.
So, three two-minute rounds, and you are going to fight twice if you win the first round (match).”
Mitchell Hooper has already started analyzing his opponent, having watched Eddie Hall’s boxing match against Hafthor Bjornsson. He believes that it was not the finest display by Hall, who could do significantly better, in his opinion.
“I have watched Eddie and Thor’s fight, and I think that it was probably not his best attempt at fighting. I think he is much more capable than that. Really, in one like this, it’s basically that if you are tagged by anyone of our size and our strength, you are probably going to be done.”
Many of Hooper’s fans might also wonder what he plans for his future in Strongman. Luckily, Hooper still has ambitions in the strength sport and will compete in the biggest shows next year.
“I am not going to do the thing where I have made my name in Strongman and got out as quickly as possible… My plan is to fight on February 17th. I am going to prepare to be in Arnold, Arnold UK, and World’s Strongest Man. Whether I will be at 100% capacity for those shows is yet to be determined.
When I go into the fight, one of my big goals will be to be strong and to be really well conditioned… I think I can go into Arnold, Arnold UK, and WSM and still contend for the title.”
Watch the video here:
Mitchell Hooper had an incredible year and a half in Strongman, having already managed to establish himself as one of the fiercest competitors. Hooper already claimed the title of World’s Strongest Man and Arnold Strongman Classic, along with gold medals at three other competitions. He is currently on a streak of 11 consecutive podium finishes, which is another proof of his consistency.
Mitchell Hooper also had quite short but very successful careers in powerlifting, bodybuilding, and marathon running. Judging by this, he could also do well in his MMA match against Eddie Hall. Regardless of the winner, the fight will undoubtedly be very interesting. Especially since the prize pool for the entire ‘2024 Finishers Championship’ is set to be $300,000,000.