Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker – Fight Breakdown

The UFC has announced that the UFC Apex card on June 27th will be headlined with a lightweight blockbuster as Dustin Poirier takes on Dan Hooker.

‘Diamond’ Poirier will return to the Octagon for the first time since his submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi in September. Hooker will be fighting for the first time since February, when he scored a decision win over Paul Felder in New Zealand in one of the best fights of 2020.

In what is sure to be a fantastic main-event, fans are excited to see if Hooker can make the step-up to the elite level. ‘Hangman’ is currently on a 3 fight win streak, winning 7 of his last 8 fights. This will be his first fight against anyone ranked in the Top 5 though and Poirier will be game to ensure he doesn’t suffer back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career.

This one will almost certainly be an intense striking affair, with both fighters relying mainly on their stand-up game to outclass opponents. Poirier is one of the best pure boxers in the UFC, nevermind at Lightweight, and will look to use his excellent jab to great effect. It will be tough to do though since Hooker holds the height and reach advantage (72′ – 75′). Hooker likes to end his combos with a vicious leg-kick too, similar to Jose Aldo at his peak.

UFC Fight Night: Felder v Hooker : News Photo
Dan Hooker scored a decision win over Paul Felder in his last Octagon bout

Both men possess one-punch knockout power and are never afraid to pull the trigger, which will almost certainly mean fireworks early. Neither man has ever had any issue with their conditioning either. Poirier most recently went a full five rounds with Max Holloway, who fights at UFC 251 against Alexander Volkanovski on July 11th, showing that he can carry his power throughout the full 25 minutes.

Poirier also has the advantage if the fight does somehow end up on the ground though. The 31 year-old is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt and holds 7 wins via submission in his career. In comparison, Hooker is a blue belt with zero submission wins in his career. ‘Hangman’ will be aware of this and I’m sure will look to use his reach advantage to land strikes and stay away from Poirier’s violent left-hooks.

It’s set to be a fantastic fight and one I definitely can’t wait for. If I had to make a prediction at this stage, I’d back Poirier to land a big shot that dropped Hooker before sinking in a submission and getting the tap-out win.

Should that happen, don’t look past a rematch with a certain Notorious one being next for ‘The Diamond’.

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