Lightweight contenders Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker face off in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card at the Apex in Las Vegas, a key fight that could put either man in line for a title shot.

Dustin Poirier Dan Hooker
Dustin Poirier (pictured) will take on Dan Hooker in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday. (Image: Getty)

Poirier enters the bout as a -230 favorite over Hooker (+184), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Poirier Vows Not to Overlook Hooker

Khabib Nurmagomedov reigns as the lightweight champion, with Justin Gaethje taking the interim title over Tony Ferguson back in May. But outside of those three men, Poirier and Hooker – along with the possibly retired Conor McGregor – stand as the next tier of title contenders in the division.

That means this fight could propel the winner to a title shot, or at least another high-profile eliminator against the likes of Ferguson or McGregor. But the first order of business is to secure a convincing win on Saturday, and neither man is taking the challenge lightly.

“That’s silly to think anyone would look past a guy like this,” Poirier (25-6) told Yahoo Sports. “My focus is on him and solely on Dan Hooker. He’s a quality opponent and he has two arms, two knees, two legs, and he’ll be looking to take my head off. It wouldn’t be too wise of me to look past anyone, let alone a guy like that.”

Hooker (20-8) had to travel from New Zealand to take part in Saturday’s card. While it might have been easier to get to Fight Island in July, Hooker answered the call for this week, and managed to work through visa issues to make the trip happen.

“Mentally I was 100% committed to the fight, I knew it was going to happen,” Hooker told ESPN. “My only real concern was for my team and the people coming with me. And their sacrifice and the time they’re spending away from their family.”

Hooker Wants Shot at Lightweight Elite

Like Poirier, Hooker sees Saturday’s fight as a springboard to bigger things in the UFC.

“If I beat Dustin Poirier, there’s only three fights in my future. That’s either fight for the title, fight Tony Ferguson, or fight Conor McGregor,” Hooker told Submission Radio. “I’ve been calling these guys out for years, and I feel like with this fight, it puts me in a position where I’m not a guy that’s running around chasing all of these people, I feel like they can come to me.”

Poirier enters the fight with what looks to be a distinct stylistic advantage. He’s an all-around fighter and has shown the ability to adapt to just about anything opponents throw at him – with the exception of Nurmagomedov, who remains a puzzle that’s stumped everyone the Russian has faced.


UFC Fight Night Odds (Main Card)

Dustin Poirier (-230) vs. Dan Hooker (+184)
Mike Perry (-350) vs. Mickey Gall (+270)
Brendan Allen (-310) vs. Kyle Daukaus (+240)
Gian Villante (+200) vs. Maurice Greene (-250)
Sean Woodson (-550) vs. Julian Erosa (+380)

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook


Meanwhile, Hooker has looked excellent, using his kickboxing skills and his ability to work in the clinch to pressure his opponents and post wins in seven of his last eight fights. But Poirier’s speed could likely cause Hooker problems, and the American isn’t afraid to take a little damage if he can get inside and land striking combinations.

Beyond the main event, Saturday’s UFC card also features a welterweight bout between Mike Perry (-350) and Mickey Gall (+270), while Brendan Allen (-310) battles Kyle Daukaus (+240) in a middleweight clash.

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