Dustin Poirier Not Taking Dan Hooker Lightly Ahead Of UFC On ESPN 12 Fight

Even though both fighters are heavy-hitters, several MMA experts can only see a win for Dustin Poirier against Dan Hooker. The former doesn’t believe his opponent is one that should be dismissed.

Currently, Hooker (20-8) is the +160 underdog compared to the -200 Poirier (25-6, 1 NC). That is only for Opening. According to OddsShark, Hooker is the underdog across the board. This is despite the fact that Hooker has been more active than Poirier recently.

“I don’t like that, honestly,” Poirier stated to MMA Junkie when it comes to those doubting Hooker. “This guy is dangerous. This guy is a top opponent a top-five ranked fighter in the UFC for a reason. I don’t look past anybody. This guy is the only thing I’m focused on right now. 25 minutes with Hooker and we’ll see what happens. I don’t like the fact that fans and stuff are just passing him over because this is a dangerous guy I’ve been preparing very seriously for.”

Poirier will be fighting Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12 on June 27.” The Diamond” last fought at UFC 242 in September. The interim UFC Lightweight Champion at the time, Poirier lost to Khabib Numaghomedov via submission, in a bout in which he was the ultimate underdog. The loss ended a six-fight unbeaten streak dating back to 2017.

With the loss, Poirier ended up back down the ladder. The third-ranked lightweight according to the UFC, Poirier had to reflect on the loss. He believes he is stronger now as a result.

“I’ve always just submerged myself in work when I’ve lost before and just drowned everything out with hard work,” Poirier went on to say. “This particular loss was the biggest loss of my career and also I had to get sidelined. I couldn’t just jump back in the gym and drown everything out. I had to think and sit on the couch and just watch everybody else fight. So it was more of just a mental training. I feel mentally stronger.”

Hooker is on a three-fight win streak and is 7-1 in his last eight. He competed in two fights in 2019, beating James Vick and Al Iaquinta. “Hangman” last fought in February, beating Paul Felder via split decision in New Zealand. Hooker is ranked fifth in the UFC’s lightweight rankings.

While both are used to using their words, Poirier is looking for their fists to do the talking. A win could propel him back to the top, something he craves more than anything else.

UFC on ESPN 12 will be taking place inside the UFC’s APEX Center. Here is the full card for the event:

Main Card (8 p.m., ESPN)

Dustin Poirier v. Dan Hooker

Mike Perry v. Mickey Gall

Brendan Allen v. Kyle Daukaus

Gian Villante v. Maurice Greene

Aspen Ladd v. Sara McMann

Prelims (5 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Luis Pena v. Khama Worthy

Philipe Lins v. Tanner Boser

Mara Romero Borella v. Miranda Maverick

Sean Woodson v. Kyle Nelson

Takashi Sato v. Ramiz Brahimaj

Jordan Griffin v. Youssef Zalal

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