UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs Hooker Recap



When Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker was headlined as the main event of UFC on ESPN 12, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, you could have expected a 'bloodfest'.


However, this exceeded expectations and will undoubtedly be thrown into the hat for “fight of the year”.


MAIN EVENT: POIRIER VS HOOKER

With a lot on the line in terms of rivalry, bragging rights and ranking in the lightweight division, Dustin Poirier (26-6) vs Dan Hooker (20-9) started and finished in appropriate violent fashion with both fighters left everything inside the octagon for a 25-minute blockbuster.


The five-round war ended with a unanimous decision victory for Poirier, and apart from his high level striking, we saw a resilient fighter who had to dig deep after losing the first two rounds.



Hooker had Poirier hurt in the opening few rounds and found success with his left hook and his attack of Poirier’s lead leg.


Not only were both opening rounds instant classics inside the UFC Apex facility, but Round 2 then appeared to be a front-runner for best of the year.


Both lightweights ended the round with faces covered in blood following a cut below the right eye of Poirier and a nasty one on the right eyelid of Hooker.


Hooker began to slow down just a bit and look for takedowns in Round 3, but a pattern developed that would carry through to the end of the fight where Poirier was not only more active from the bottom, he outworked Hooker for numerous submission attempts.


The savage nature of Round 2 was replaced by more of a technical tone two rounds later as each fighter traded hard jabs and body shots, but it was Poirier who had Hooker fighting for survival late after applying a triangle choke, an armbar and a guillotine.


With everything up for grabs in the last round, it was clear that Poirier had more gas in the tank and it even looked like he had a few more rounds in the locker. He was the aggressor and, to put it frankly, made Hooker look like a punching bag.


Poirier, in his first appearance since hip and labrum surgery, outlasted Dan Hooker in a 155-pound duel that was nothing short of savage theatre. Poirier took home a unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-46) in a Fight of The Year contender that was a perfect showcase of technique, heart and violence.


CO-MAIN EVENT: MIKE PERRY VS MICKEY GALL



Mike Perry wasn’t messing around at all when he said that he wouldn’t have a corner in this fight. Instead, he licensed his girlfriend Latory Gonzalez, who has zero MMA experience. Perry (14-6) defeated Gall (6-3) via unanimous decision and it was a very clear one-sided contest.


I must admit I wasn’t the only one who heavily criticized Perry for not having a camp in the build-up to this fight, however that decision proved beneficial as he looked sharper and as explosive as ever.


He told ESPN prior to the bout he intends to find a new camp in the future but wanted to prove he could be successful on his own. His girlfriend, Latory Gonzalez, does not have any MMA experience:


"A few months ago, when we started dating, I knew I was going to get ready for a fight.


"I knew I wanted to do it by myself. A few years ago, I told her I wanted to give her this experience and bring her into the corner when we first met. Life went other ways, but I saw it in my head. I made it come to fruition and here we are as winners”.


Gall, who is a talented submission artist, failed to convert a single takedown attempt and once Perry shook off those initial takedowns attempts early on, Gall really didn’t have much left to offer.


Perry out-landed Gall in total strikes 103-59 which is a significant advantage and got him hurt in the second round with a right hand.


Perry continued to walk through Galls shots and gave zero respect to his punching power and even ended on top position at the end of the third round.


Finding a camp will be a necessity though moving forward. I doubt his girlfriend who has zero experience in the MMA world will take him into the champion category. But who knows, we have seen some peculiar things happen in UFC.


MAURICE GREEN VS GIAN VILLANTE



Not the most entertaining fight on the card, however, this was a battle between two high-level fighters with one high-level finish.


The fight was primarily a kicking contest for much of its duration. Greene (9-5) delivered far more shots and distributed them well, from legs to the body to the head.


But Villante (17-12) landed the heavier kicks, and eventually, they took their toll on Greene, making him less mobile and within range of Villante's big punches.

And when Villante landed a big one that put Greene down, he pounced with a flurry of punches. But he could not put his opponent away, and in the end, it was Villante who was finished.


Greene had wrapped his arms around Villante's head and neck and was holding on, but what appeared in the moment to be no more than a manoeuvre to keep his opponent close and under control turned into an arm triangle that ended the fight at 3:44 of Round 3.


With the win, Greene ended a two-fight losing streak that had halted the momentum he'd built by winning his first three UFC fights.


In addition to the scintillating lightweight main event and co-main event, featherweight Julian Erosa scored a huge upset submission finish over touted prospect Sean Woodson, and 20-year-old women’s strawweight newcomer Kay Hansen netted a third-round armbar finish over former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. Not to mention the spectacular submission stoppage by Khama Worthy over Luis Pena and Takashi Sato’s 48-second TKO finish.



This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk.