Poirier defeats Hooker at ESPN on UFC 12

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

Dustin Poirier has the longest layoff in his career. He had been sidelined for the last ten months. 

Poirier returned to the Octagon on Saturday night against Dan Hooker. The Louisiana native — who now resides in Florida — defeated Hooker in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker lunch each other at UFC on ESPN 12 (Photo by UFC News/Twitter)

This fight was originally scheduled for the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to the UFC Apex. 

This was a 25-minute war. Hooker won the first two rounds, as he was the aggressor of the two fighters. Then, Poirier, the former champion, regrouped to win the next two rounds. 

He also won the fifth round to seal the win. 

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll fight at the end of the year,” Poirier said after the win. “Maybe I’ll fight next year. I just want to go home to my daughter.”

With the win, Poirier is now 26-6-1 in his MMA career. This was his seventh win by unanimous decision. 

His last unanimous decision win came in a win over Max Holloway in April 2019 at UFC 236. After winning the interim UFC Lightweight Championship against Holloway, he lost the belt to Khabib Nurmagomedov in September at UFC 242. 

Since 2017, the Nurmagomedov fight is his only loss in eight bouts. He also has a no contest bout on the books during the eight bouts against Eddie Alvarez due to illegal knees at UFC 211. 

Hooker — who resides in Auckland, New Zealand — fell to 20-9 in his MMA career. Six of his nine losses have come by decision. 

He had his three fight win streak snapped with this loss. This was his first unanimous decision loss since he lost to Jason Knight at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson on November 27, 2016. 

The loss to Poirier was Hooker’s first loss since 2018 when he lost to Edson Barboza by TKO (Body Punch) at UFC on FOX: UFC on Fox: Lee vs. Iaquinta 2 on December 15, 2018. 

Hooker was allowed to leave his native country, as New Zealand defeated the coronavirus earlier this month.

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