Dustin Poirier will be looking to rebound from last fall’s crushing loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov when he returns to the octagon on Saturday to take on Dan Hooker in the main event on the UFC Fight Night card as a -225 betting favourite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Poirier suffered his first loss in seven appearances with his third-round submission defeat at the hands of Nurmagomedov, but remains the third-ranked contender in the UFC lightweight division going into Saturday night’s bout at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Poirier defeated some impressive opponents during his recent undefeated run. In addition to a five-round unanimous decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 236 as a +190 wager at online betting sites that earned him the interim lightweight crown, Poirier also recorded a trio of finishes against Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis and current interim champion Justin Gaethje. The 31-year-old has also taken home performance bonuses in four of his past seven outings.
Hooker will be gunning for a fourth straight win as he faces Poirier as a +175 underdog. Hooker is coming off a narrow split decision win as a -165 wager in his five-round main event clash with Paul Felder at UFC Fight Night 168, which also earned him his first-ever Fight of the Night bonus.
The 30-year-old New Zealander has made quiet progress since joining the UFC in 2014. Since falling to defeat in three of his first six UFC fights, Hooker has turned things around, posting wins in seven of his past eight outings. Five of those victories have come inside the distance, including first-round knockouts of Jim Miller, Gilbert Burns and James Vick.
But while each of his past two wins have come by decision, the No. 5 challenger among UFC lightweights sports a middling 3-5 career record in fights decided by the judges.
Elsewhere on the UFC odds board for Saturday, Mike Perry looks to put the brakes on a two-fight losing streak as he takes on fellow welterweight Mickey Gall as heavy -340 chalk. Perry suffered a stunning first-round TKO loss to Geoff Neal at UFC 245 last time out, and has now lost six of 10 fights since posting wins in his first two UFC outings. Pegged as a +260 wager for Saturday, Gall is coming off a unanimous decision win over Salim Touahri, but has failed to record consecutive victories in almost four years.
As well, Brendan Allen is a -300 betting favourite in his middleweight clash with Kyle Daukaus, while Maurice Greene is listed as -240 chalk against fellow heavyweight Gian Villante.