Another UFC Fight Night will take place at the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker‘s lightweight matchup will be the featured fight of the card.
Poirier is 25-6-1 with one no-decision in his career. Hooker is 20-8. Most UFC followers believe this one will be a truly entertaining fight.
There are currently some questions about the division since Conor McGregor says he is retired. Many believe he will eventually come back.
“He said he’s retired,” Poirier told ESPN. “I’m moving forward and looking at the division like he is (retired).”
Poirier has 17 victories since he joined the UFC in 2011. He has the second-most wins in that span, and the third-most finishes. His last fight was a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is no easy beat.
“I’ll take Poirier,” says ESPN UFC expert Brett Okamoto. “His strength of schedule in recent years is second to none: Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway, Nurmagomedov. It genuinely does not get any tougher than that. And at some point, one could argue that’s not a good thing — to face nothing but the best back-to-back-to-back. But for right now, I like Poirier’s edge in experience.”
Not A Mismatch
But Hooker is also a dangerous opponent. He’s won four of his last five times out and is looking to keep that momentum going.
“(Hooker) is hungry — he’s working hard, he’s motivated,” lightweight opponent Al Iaquinta told ESPN. “He’s already calling out (interim champ) Justin Gaethje. Not that he’s looking past Dustin, but he’s going into this fight very confident. I don’t know how confident Dustin is going into this one after his last fight.”
Hooker, fighting out of New Zealand, is the fifth-rated lightweight according to ESPN. He is 7-1 since moving up to lightweight from featherweight.
“I’m leaning towards Hooker,” Iaquinta said. “I think he’s on the rise, hungry and motivated. I see him taking it. I think a decision is the best prediction. Poirier could get caught with something coming in. I can’t really see how it’s gonna go, but it’s gonna be a good fight.”
Two well-known people in the business both have different outcomes for this one. It makes for an interesting Saturday night for the UFC. Even if McGregor is retired, there still might be plenty of fireworks in the lightweight division.
Full Fight Card
They won’t be the only ones in the octagon on Saturday. Here is a look at the entire fight card for Saturday night on ESPN.
ESPN/ESPN+, 8 pm ET
- Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker | Lightweight
- Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall | Welterweight
- Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus | Middleweight
- Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene | Heavyweight
- Sean Woodson vs. Julian Erosa | Catchweight (150 pounds)
ESPN/ESPN+, 6 pm ET
- Luis Pena vs. Khama Worthy | Lightweight
- Philipe Lins vs. Tanner Boser | Heavyweight
- Jason Witt vs. Takashi Sato | Welterweight
- Jordan Griffin vs. Youssef Zalal | Men’s featherweight
- Jinh Yu Frey vs. Kay Hansen | Strawweight