UFC Vegas 4 news: Dustin Poirier defeats Dan Hooker in Fight of the Year contender

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Number three and five contenders for the UFC lightweight world championship Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker slugged it out last night in what fans are claiming to be a Fight of the Year contender. 

The bout was highly anticipated following the rise of Hooker and following Poirier’s defeat to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 242. 

A win for Hooker would have surely cemented his argument as a title contender.

Both fighters came out swinging and after just one round, the fight was already set up to be a good one. 

Surprisingly, it was Hooker who started off the better of the two fighters landing 33 significant strikes to Poirier’s 20 in round one. 

Hooker landed some big shots which rocked Poirier and opened up minor cuts on his face. 

Despite only one round going by, it looked like Hooker had come to play, with Poirier looking lost in the first. 

At the start of the second it appeared that fatigue was starting to set in for Poirier, who attempted six takedowns in round two, none of them successful, and none of them troubling Hooker, who looked comfortable. 

Round two was again Hooker’s round, as he emerged from the round with 66 significant strikes landed to Poirier’s 48. 

Round two was very similar to round one with Hooker landing some big shots, however, Poirier hung in there and got through another round. 

With two rounds in the books and Hooker dominating the scorecards, Poirier came out in the third as a different fighter, the fighter we know as one of the best lightweight fighters in the world. 

Much of the third round was spent on the deck with an early takedown from Hooker. 

Although Hooker managed to get Poirier on the floor, the latter still won the third with a convincing performance landing more significant strikes and looking like he had settled in. 

Round three was probably the least interesting round of the fight, with both fighters looking to not waste much energy. 

With Poirier clinching a round, this re-opened up the possibility of a win for him, which looked distant following the first two. 

The fourth round was a massive round in terms of the outcome of the fight. 

If Poirier won the round it was 2-2 in rounds and it would be extremely close on the judges' scorecard, however, if he didn’t, the fight would look almost done with Hooker dominating three of the five scheduled rounds. 

Poirier would be forced to try and knock Hooker out with little left in the tank, so this round was pivotal. 

Almost all of the fourth round was spent on the floor, and it was Poirier who was on top. 

Both fighters combined for a total of 42 strikes attempted in the entire fourth round. 

Poirier attempted to put Hooker away with three submission attempts, however, none of them were successful. 

Despite Poirier having little success with his submissions, he was in control of more of the round than Hooker was, therefore earning him the round. 

With four rounds in the books, the scores were pretty even on the judges' scorecards, making for an exciting finish to an entertaining bout. 

Poirier’s corner asked him if he was having fun at the end of the fourth, to which Poirier replied: “[I’m] having a blast yeah."

In the eyes of some fans, this was the turning point of the bout as Poirier entered the fifth oozing with confidence. 

This confidence showed as Poirier came out with a second wind. 

Unlike the early rounds, it was Hooker this time who was on the receiving end of some big shots from the hands of Dustin Poirier. 

Hooker, who was clearly fatigued and completely drained, attempted six takedowns, with only one of them being successful. 

Poirier landed 12 more significant strikes and stunned Hooker a few times in the fifth. 

In the eyes of the judges this was enough to earn him the round. 

In terms of rounds won, it was 3-2 to Poirier. 

Eric Colon scored the bout 48-46 to Dustin Poirier. Derek Cleary scored the bout 48-47 in favour of Dustin Poirier, as did Sal D’amato. 

This therefore declared the winner by unanimous decision, Dustin Poirier. 

In terms of fights this year, most UFC and MMA fights are collectively agreeing that this has to be the current Fight of the Year, with other fights expected to not even come close. 

What is next for Poirier is currently not known, however, it is understood that a rematch with Khabib this early is unlikely. 

As for Dan Hooker, it was still a good showing, only losing by one point on two of the judges' scorecards. 

What’s next for Hooker is again unknown, however, it is thought he will fight the number four contender for the lightweight belt.

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