UFC on ESPN 12 Results: Dustin Poirier Edges Out Dan Hooker In Epic FOTY Contender

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Dustin Poirier punches Dan Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 27: (R-L) Dustin Poirier punches Dan Hooker of New Zealand in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Dustin Poirier was able to edge out Dan Hooker after five rounds of a fight that was a Fight Of The Year contender for the history books.

Fan-friendly. Explosive. With a high chance for fireworks. Fight fans had lots of ways to describe what was unquestionably a promising main event at UFC on ESPN 12. Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker were the type of fighters fans love — full of heart, never backing down.

With the lightweight division blown wide open in the wake of Conor McGregor stepping back and Tony Ferguson losing to Justin Gaethje, there was also a real sense that the fight meant something. Not just a step up on the rankings, but potentially even a title shot under the right circumstances. Dan Hooker certainly felt that, suggesting that very situation during the event’s media day.

So what happened when it all played out Saturday at the UFC Apex? Poirier immediately caught a kick from Hooker to open the round, and responded with a hard body kick. A nice lead hook landed from Hooker in response. Hooker just took Poirier’s lead leg out from under him with a leg kick. Some good jabs and leg kick work from Hooker, who then stepped inside for a nice lead hook.

Poirier locked in double underhooks and pressed Hooker against the cage. Hooker was able to circle out and continue his surgical approach on the feet. Poirier doubled up with some hard kicks to the body before cracking Hooker with a right hand. Hooker responded by pressing Poirier against the cage and unloading several big shots and knees. Poirier then fired back with a big right hand, and both men began trading big shots. Hooker took Poirier off balance with a short shot and the round came to an end.

The second round opened up with Hooker connecting with a jab, and Poirier firing back with nice, hard combos. Hooker then fired back with some hard shots of his own. Poirier shot for a takedown off a Hooker knee, getting off some shots with Hooker against the cage. Poirier unloads some huge shots off the cage, Hooker fires back with some nice ones of his own, and Poirier again works for the takedown against the cage. Poirier landed a front kick to the face off the cage, and landed another nice shot to the body. Poirier continued to push the pace and go for big shots, but couldn’t find his range.

Off a kick, Poirier landed a nice 1-2 and shot in for another takedown. Hooker circled out of the attempt after earing a pair of elbows. Poirier with another hard kick to the body, and lands a few hooks. Poirier missed on a few big swinging punches. Hooker is now wearing the damage Poirier is dealing out on his face, busted up with blood pouring out of his eye. Poirier again landed a kick to the body, but Hooker began to pick up the offense, landing straights of his own.

Inside the pocket, Hooker unloaded with a ton of clean, hard shots, but Poirier surprisingly stayed on his feet. Against the cage, Hooker unloaded, but Poirier didn’t go away. Huge shots landed from Hooker against the cage, a ridiculous amount of shots, but Poirier survived to see the end of the round.

The third round kicked off with Poirier finding a home for some of his shots, but Hooker continues to walk forward trying to find his range. A brilliant combination from Poirier, who is dealing out damage now, but Hooker isn’t going anywhere. Hooker dove in for a takedown, but fell right into a tight guillotine from Poirier. Despite Poirier having a tight squeeze, Hooker was able to pop out of the guillotine, and began to work from the top of Poirier’s full guard. After a scramble, the fight got back to the feet, and Poirier unloaded a ton of huge shots that connected, but Hooker was miraculously still on his feet to end the round.

The fourth round started with Poirier connecting on a jab. Poirier was in a nice rhythm and established his reach despite having the shorter arms. A stiff jab from Poirier again connected, but Hooker caught a kick and jumped on Poirier’s back. Poirier then nicely rolled out of Hooker’s grasp, only for Hooker to again get in another takedown, but Poirier got right back to his feet, and quickly returned the favor with a takedown of his own.

Poirier then mounts Hooker and unloads some ground-and-pound from the side position. After a scramble, Poirier goes for an armbar but then transitions to an omaplata. Hooker scrambles out of it and gets to his feet before laying on top of Poirier against the cage. Poirier got to his feet and pulled guard for a guillotine choke. Hooker slid right out of the choke and begun unloading some ground-and-pound as the round came to an end.

The final round opened up with Poirier stepping forward with a combination. Poirier fired off a nice body kick that landed before following it up with a jab. Another jab from Poirier finds a home, and he continued to throw that jab out and touch Hooker with it. Hooker finally responded with a step back left hand. Poirier began to tee off on Hooker against the cage but Hooker clinched up, to which Poirier shrugged it off quickly.

A nice left hand from Poirier, but Hooker responded with a takedown. Poirier beautifully escaped from Hooker’s clinch and began to tee off with strikes again. Hooker continued to go for the takedown, pressing Poirier against the cage. Poirier snuck in a short uppercut to separate. Hooker finds himself sitting against the cage with Poirier mounted on one of his legs, looking to hit him as much as possible and sneaking in some choke attempts as time expires.

Official Result: Dustin Poirier def. Dan Hooker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-46)

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