Almost 10 months after a one-sided title loss within the sport’s hardest division, former interim light-weight champion Dustin Poirier was keen to stroll by hell to carry his place in line. 

Poirier, in his first look since hip and labrum surgical procedure, outlasted Dan Hooker in a 155-pound duel that was nothing in need of savage theater. Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) took residence a unanimous determination (48-47, 48-47, 48-46) in a Battle of The Yr contender that was an ideal showcase of approach, coronary heart and violence. 

“It was a tricky one. Dan got here to battle and is a tricky man,” Poirier mentioned. “He’s on the rise and actually thought he was going to get previous me and talked plenty of trash like he was going to maneuver ahead and battle the champ. However I put the work in and I belief my workforce and my work ethic. I got here in right here and pulled one out and I’ve a number of extra rounds in me.”

The primary occasion of UFC Battle Evening in Las Vegas noticed the 31-year-old Poirier survive a vicious assault from Hooker (20-9) over the primary two rounds that appeared to go away Poirier damage on a number of events as every one traded their greatest pictures. 

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Not solely had been each of the opening rounds immediate classics contained in the UFC Apex facility, it was Spherical 2 that already seems to be a front-runner for better of the 12 months. Each lightweights ended the spherical with faces coated in blood following a minimize beneath the suitable eye of Poirier and a nasty one on the suitable eyelid of Hooker. 

“The one time I used to be damage within the battle was when Dan received me in opposition to the fence and slipped a knee in there [in Round 2],” Poirier mentioned. “It was fairly spectacular how excessive he received his hips up with out telegraphing. I sort of flashed out for a second and he was throwing hooks at me however we regrouped and got here again stronger. “That is why a battle is not a battle till there’s something to beat and we got here again tonight.”

Hooker, 30, started to decelerate only a bit and search for takedowns in Spherical 3, however a sample developed that might carry by to the top of the battle the place Poirier was not solely extra energetic from the underside, he outworked Hooker for quite a few submission makes an attempt. 

The savage nature of Spherical 2 was changed by extra of a technical tone two rounds later as every fighter traded arduous jabs and physique pictures, nevertheless it was Poirier who had Hooker preventing for survival late after making use of a triangle choke, an armbar and a guillotine. 

“I might have been somewhat bit sharper,” Poirier mentioned. “I did not get out of the way in which of some pictures. It is not that I disrespected Dan’s energy, however I stayed within the pocket too lengthy. I landed a few good ones that had been making his head snap again and I believed I used to be possibly stealing the rounds however I might do higher than that.”

Poirier walked again to his stool earlier than the ultimate spherical and was requested by his nook whether or not he was having enjoyable. After responding with, “I am having a blast,” he started to systematically break Hooker down within the ultimate spherical and twice dropped him with stiff jabs and left crosses whereas preventing off takedown makes an attempt.

The victory retains Poirier inside hanging distance of the light-weight title because the division awaits the winner of champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who submitted Poirier final September, in opposition to present interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. Earlier than the battle, Poirier named prime contenders Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor as potential opponents who may very well be subsequent if he was victorious, though he declined to name out anybody after the win.  

“Possibly I will battle on the finish of the 12 months, possibly I will battle subsequent 12 months. I do not know,” Poirier mentioned. “I simply need to go residence to be with my daughter. It was the longest layoff of my profession. I needed to take 9 months off and sit on the sidelines and I could not put weight on my leg for eight weeks. I needed to overcome some issues. I need to keep in love with this sport. I do not need to push myself to the place I hate this. I simply need to do it proper and provides it my all the suitable method.”

Hooker as soon as once more confirmed a championship degree chin and toughness in defeat because the native of New Zealand snapped a three-fight win streak.

Within the co-main occasion, Mike Perry confirmed he would not want a full nook to have success as he battered Mickey Gall over the second and third rounds to attain a unanimous determination victory. Perry, who had simply his girlfriend Latory Gonzalez by his facet, grinded out Gall each on the toes and on the bottom along with his hanging to stall the welterweight prospect. Perry is now 3-Four in his final seven whereas Gall falls to 2-Three since 2017.

CBS Sports activities was with you all night bringing you outcomes and evaluation from UFC Battle Evening in Las Vegas on Saturday. Try the total outcomes beneath.

UFC Battle Evening: Poirier vs. Hooker card, outcomes

  • Dustin Poirier def. Dan Hooker by way of unanimous determination (48-47, 48-47, 48-46)
  • Mike Perry def. Mickey Gall by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Maurice Greene def. Gian Villante by way of third-round submission (arm triangle choke)
  • Brendan Allen def. Kyle Daukaus by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
  • Takashi Sato def. Jason Witt by way of first-round TKO (punches)
  • Julian Erosa def. Sean Woodson by way of third-round submission (D’Arce choke)
  • Khama Worthy def.Luis Pena by way of third-round submission (guillotine choke) 
  • Tanner Boser def. Philipe Lins by way of first-round TKO (punches)
  • Kay Hansen def. Jinh Yu Frey by way of third-round submission (armbar)
  • Youssef Zalal def. Jordan Griffin by way of unanimous determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)





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