UFC on ESPN 12: Poirier vs. Hooker Predictions
Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker
This has all the makings of a very entertaining main event match-up between two very talented lightweights.
Both men are strikers first and foremost, with Hooker bringing a 3” height and reach advantage to the Octagon along with a strong offensive arsenal of punches, kicks, knees and elbows and very good durability.
Poirier is a high level striker with his boxing being particularly effective, while he likes to keep unrelenting pressure on his opponents with a high-volume offense and the cardio to maintain it for all five rounds.
Both fighters can also handle themselves on the mat and have submission victories to prove it, but I believe Poirier’s grappling ability and smooth transitioning between striking and mat work gives him the edge there.
It should be a heck of a fight and if it finishes early I could see it being Hooker who emerges with his hand raised, but Poirier is a very skilled and experienced technician and I think the longer this one goes the more he’s going to prove that and his constant pressure and volume will eventually pay off with a fourth round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Dustin Poirier to win by TKO in Rd4 – Bet Now
Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall
Perry made a name for himself as a hard-hitting, hard-headed slugger, but with only two wins from his last seven fights he could really use a victory on Saturday night.
With wins over the likes of Sage Northcutt and CM Punk, Gall’s patchy record could also use a pick-me-up and Perry’s got enough name value to be a potential springboard for him if he can find a route to victory.
Both men’s gameplans should be pretty clear here, with Perry looking to stand and trade, while Gall is certainly not as potent or effective of a striker and will be seeking any opportunity to make use of his solid ground game and significant submission threat.
Perry is a bit of a loose cannon who doesn’t always make the best decisions inside and outside of the cage, but though there’s certainly significant chance Gall could force an early takedown and tap him out, I think he can use his own wrestling to keep the fight standing and make his younger, considerably more inexperienced opponent pay with heavy strikes to produce a first round TKO finish.
Prediction: Mike Perry to win by TKO in Rd1 – Bet Now
Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus
With Ian Heinisch being forced out due to an injury, Daukaus gets a short notice introduction to life in the UFC against Allen.
Daukaus stays active on the feet, but his offense isn’t particularly threatening and he’s more dangerous on the mat with submissions, which have carried him to victory in eight of his nine fights so far, including an unusually high number of brabo choke stoppages.
Allen may have a slight edge on the feet here, but he too is best suited to a grappling based fight and I think he’ll have the stronger wrestling and also offers a submission threat too, and together with the lack of preparation time for Daukaus I think that will lead to him coming out on the wrong end of the decision here.
Prediction: Brendan Allen to win by decision – Bet Now
Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene
A tough, offensive brawler with a UFC record littered with more losses than wins, Villante is now moving up to try his luck at heavyweight, where he’ll go up against Greene, who started his UFC run off with a trio of wins, but has since suffered two losses in a row.
Greene will have a 4” height and 6” reach advantage here and tips the scales at the heavyweight limit, but moves fairly well and will offer up kicks as well as punches, while also being a decent grappler.
Villante can be a little plodding in his approach at 205lbs, so that might be magnified further at heavyweight, while he does have boxing ability, but isn’t an especially heavy hitter.
I can see Villante having some problems getting into range here and eat some big shots as he does so, and with someone as big as Greene I think that will soon take a toll on him, leading to a TKO stoppage in the second round.
Prediction: Maurice Greene to win by TKO in Rd2 – Bet Now
Sean Woodson vs. Julian Erosa
Another fight with a late injury call-off, which sees Erosa stepping in to replace Kyle Nelson on a few days notice.
Under any other circumstance it would be an odd match-up given that Erosa has lost all three of his UFC fights to date, including two KO defeats, while Woodson won in his UFC debut back In October and his 7-0 overall in his career so far.
Woodson is a lanky fighter with solid striking, but Erosa is also fairly tall too, so he’ll only have a 2” height and 3” reach advantage on this occasion.
Still, it should be enough to help him dictate the range of the fight and with Erosa’s chin being highly questionable I can see a second round TKO stoppage here.
Prediction: Sean Woodson to win by TKO in Rd2 – Bet Now
UFC on ESPN 12 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Luis Peña vs. Khama Worthy
Philipe Lins vs. Tanner Boser
Jordan Griffin vs. Youssef Zalal
Takashi Sato vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
Jinh Yu Frey vs. Kay Hansen