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UFC Fight Night results: Dustin Poirier bests Dan Hooker in violent Fight of the Year contender

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Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker was expected to be a Fight of the Year contender, and it overdelivered on those lofty expectations. Poirier won a unanimous decision in an astounding display of violence at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. 

It was an absolute war between two of the top five fighters in an incredibly stacked lightweight division where Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje are on top. It was also the epitome of a mixed martial arts fight as Hooker and Poirier showcased every aspect of the game from beginning to end in their thriller. 

Hooker started it early in the first by landing leg kicks and body shots. Poirier managed to stay sharp and land his jab. It didn't take long for defense to go out the window as both fighters remained in the pocket and fired strikes with deadly intent. 

And that could be considered a feeling-out round.

The action only heated up in the second round with both fighters now familiar with the other's approach. The back-and-forth action was incredible through the final seconds of the round, when Hooker put together a savage display of punches that appeared to have "The Diamond" in trouble.

But Poirier still had a lot more in the tank for the start of the third round. Although the action slowed down after the frantic opening, the round was still an entertaining battle that saw Poirier begin to gain an edge. A tiring Hooker shot for a takedown and found himself trapped in a tight guillotine, but he showed incredible resolve and escaped the submission attempt. Hooker managed to get into Poirier's guard but found himself eating short punches and elbows from his opponent. 

Poirier finished the final two rounds strong with crisper striking and several submission attempts that Hooker managed to survive. 

The two combatants entered the final frame totally spent, but Poirier dug deep and crushed Hooker with a big punch just as Hooker sought a takedown. Poirier continued to land ground and pound until the final bell of what was an extraordinary showdown that will certainly be in the conversation for Fight of the Year. 

Poirier won with scorecards of 48-47, 48-47 and 48-46 and will now wait to see what is next as Gaethje, Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson jockey for position.  

In the co-main event, Mike Perry made the odd choice of having his girlfriend as his cornerman for his showdown against Mickey Gall, but the decision paid off as Perry controlled much of the fight with his powerful striking and takedown defense to win a unanimous decision. 

Gall struggled to get much offense in as Perry stalked and pressured his opponent throughout the fight. Gall was expected to use his grappling, but Perry was the one who took down his opponent with suplexes and then controlled him from the top position. 

In the second round, Perry dropped Gall with a hard right hand and fired a brutal elbow from inside Gall's guard right before the end. It was all Perry in the third as he took Gall down and landed some ground and pound. Gall could only scramble to avoid absorbing more punishment. 

Perry earned a unanimous decision with no coaches in his corner. That is impressive no matter how many ways you slice it.  

UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Hooker full fight card results

Main card

  • Dustin Poirier def. Dan Hooker via  unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-46)
  • Mike Perry def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
  • Maurice Greene def. Gian Villante via 3rd-round submission (3:44)
  • Brendan Allen def. Kyle Daukus via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
  • Takashi Sato def. Jason Witt via 1st-round TKO (:48)
  • Julian Erosa def. Sean Woodson via 3rd-round submission (2:44)

Prelims

  • Khama Worthy def. Luis Pena via 3rd-round submission (2:53)
  • Tanner Boser def. Philipe Lins via 1st-round KO (2:41)
  • Kay Hansen def. Jinh Yu Frey via 3rd-round submission (2:26) 
  • Youssef Zalal def. Jordan Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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