Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker

Dustin Poirier (-220) (25-6-0, 1 NC)

Poirier comes in to this bout with 5 wins and 1 loss in his last 6 fights, most recently losing to the champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s a UFC veteran and will be eager to get back to the impressive run he was on that got him to his first title shot. A run that included knockout victories over the likes of Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and Eddie Alvarez; as well as ruining Max Holloway’s bid at becoming and double-champ in the UFC. He’s an extremely well-rounded fighter and trains with an excellent camp at American Top Team. The lightweight division is stacked, so a win over the surging Dan Hooker may not get him another title shot right away; but it will go a long way to getting him back on his way.

Dan Hooker (+180) (20-8-0)

Dan Hooker is also a UFC veteran, currently in his 6th year with the promotion. He comes into this fight on a three-fight win streak beating James Vick, Al Iaquinta, and Paul Felder in that order. It’s an impressive streak and it has gotten him a big fight in a crowded division. He’s 30 years old and likely approaching his prime. I expect him to come into this fight focused and motivated because he knows a title shot/McGregor shot could be right around the corner. He sees fellow teammates Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski with UFC championship belts around their waists, and Dustin Poirier will be a huge test he needs to pass if he wants a shot at the lightweight strap anytime soon.

Prediction: Dustin Poirier via 4th Round TKO

This is going to be an excellent fight between two of the most technical lightweights in the world. It will be interesting to see how Poirier reacts to his loss to Khabib. He certainly had his moments in the fight, almost locking in a choke that even Khabib admitted was close. Poirier has always been an extremely focused fighter and I expect no different here. He’ll come into this fight with his usual discipline and American Top Team will put together a game plan to pick apart Hooker. While Hooker is on an impressive streak, he just hasn’t fought the same level of talent and his striking is not quite as crisp. He will have a decent size advantage over Poirier, but the smaller cage will negate his ability to utilize his footwork and control distance. I expect Poirier to soften up Hooker with his boxing and volume before finding a finish in the 4th round.

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