UFC Fight Night

UFC Fight Night Poirier v Hooker Preview and Picks

Recap - Curtis Blaydes v Alexander Volkov

As tipped by OddsBoom last week, Curtis Blaydes got the win over Volkov in Las Vegas.

Despite not being able to KO Volkov, Blaydes scored a unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-46). Although Blaydes dominated throughout, he was not impressive – and the bout failed to live up to expectations.

It is unlikely that Blaydes will be mixing it with the top-ranked Heavyweights anytime soon. 

Miocic v Cormier 3 has been scheduled for August at UFC 252 – to be held at the UFC Apex. This trilogy fight should be an interesting one – and can be added to the list of blockbuster fights that we have coming up over the summer. 

On last week’s undercard Josh Emmet got awarded a close decision over Shane Burgos, with Raquel Pennington, Belal Muhammad and Jim Miller also all scoring wins. We did flag up that parlay last week – although not tipping it in our main previews. Well done to anyone who did follow up on that advice.

This weekend the UFC once again makes use of the UFC Apex facility, and hosts yet another stacked fight card. 

On paper, there is a serious fight of the year contender headlining the event – with Dustin Poirier facing off against Dan Hooker in the Lightweight division. The co-main event sees Mike Perry take on Mickey Gall, and there are also some eyecatching fights on the undercard.

Co-main event
Mike Perry v Mickey Gall

This Welterweight bout sees two unranked fighters square off. They are both big names in the MMA world, despite not currently being ranked by the UFC. Perry (13-6) and Gall (6-2) are both 28 – but Gall stands 10cm taller and has a similar reach advantage. 

Dana White has pitted two skillful fighters against one and other here, with very different skillsets. Perry has actually boxed as a professional, whilst Gall is a confirmed grappler. 11 of Perry’s 13 wins have come by way of KO, whilst 5 of Gall’s 6 victories have come by way of submission.

This really is a clash of styles and leads to an intriguing fight. Perry is the strong betting favorite (-300) coming into this bout, with Gall (+220) the ‘dog according to the major books. 

These prices seem to be too weighted in favor of Perry, despite lacking a win over a recognized big name, Gall has the talent to upset the favorite this weekend. 

Gall joined the UFC in 2016, submitting ex WWE star CM Punk in the first round. He followed up that win later on in 2016 by also submitting Sage Northcutt. Since then, he has only fought four times – going 2-2 in that time. Wins over George Sullivan and Salim Touahri don’t tell us a great deal about the ability Gall possesses. 

Perry has fought 10 times since Gall made his debut in the UFC, going 4-6. He is coming into this off the back of two defeats – against Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal, showing that he really is not in good form. 

Gall will do everything possible to ensure this fight takes place on the mat – Perry will be looking to keep it on the feet. It is a clash of styles that is intriguing but could make for an ugly fight. Gall will look to take the shorter man down before looking for a submission win. 

Gall, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will be looking to get the job done by way of rear-naked choke – a method he has won by on 3 occasions already in his UFC career. He looks like a bad matchup for Perry, who could fall to a 3rd successive loss. 

Mike Perry is a strong favorite this weekend, but coming into this fight he has lost 3 of his last 4 fights. We believe that he is in for a difficult night this weekend – and our suggestion is to back Mickey Gall to win by way of submission. 

Main Event
Dustin Poirier v Dan Hooker 

Get ready for fireworks – five rounds in the Lightweight division featuring ex-interim champ, Poirier (25-6) and Hooker (20-8). This fight has got huge potential to be a war. 

Poirier comes into this as the betting favorite (-200), with Hooker the outsider (+162). These prices rightly reflect the ability of each man – but it will likely be tough to split these on Saturday night. 

As the headline event, five rounds await fight fans and it could well take the full 25 minutes to establish a winner.

Poirier is one year senior to Hooker, and will give up both a height and reach advantage – but is strongly fancied to win this bout against the Kiwi brawler this weekend. Although Hooker got the better of Gilbert Burns in July 2018, his opponents since then (Edson Barboza, James Vick, Al Iaquinta, and Paul Felder) are not in the same league as Poirier’s most recent foes. 

Dustin Poirier faced Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, ultimately falling to a submission loss midway through the 3rd round. But prior to that, he was on a winning streak of 5 – including notable big wins over Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. He was able to beat these 3 serious MMA technicians with relative ease before falling to Khabib. 

Hooker has lost 4 times in the UFC, his most recent loss coming at the hands of Edson Barboza in December 2018. He is riding a 3 fight win streak – but as suggested, he has not been thrown in with fighters anywhere near the caliber of Poirier’s most recent opponents. 

What is clear is that both Hooker and Poirier are seriously tough. Both of Hooker’s most recent wins have come by way of the judges – including a 5 round victory over Paul Felder in February of this year. Interestingly, of Hookers 8 total MMA losses – 5 of them have come on the scorecards. 

In Dustin Poirier, he will be facing a dynamic and flashy fighter. Poirier is capable of making people sit up and take note of his skillset – this is highlighted by the fact that in 8 career fights to go the distance he has only lost twice. 

This matchup is a worthy main event. It is an intriguing fight between two exciting strikers, and should lead to fireworks. In our opinion, Poirier is the worthy favorite – and should win this bout. It may be worth looking to back him to win a unanimous decision. He is the classier fighter, and should provide plenty of highlight-reel moments this weekend. 


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