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Let’s Try This Again, Dan’s Picks for UFC on ESPN 12: Poirier vs. Hooker

There is an adage: “either you win, or you learn,” well, I did a lot of learning this week after going (2-3) on last weekend’s main card for UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Volkov. This will be the final event hosted at the APEX in Las Vegas, before the UFC takes it act to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Catch all the action simulcast on ESPN and ESPN+.

Up first, a catchweight fight at 150 pounds featuring undefeated Sean Woodson (7-0) against Julian Erosa (23-9). Erosa, a contestant on Season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter, returns to the promotion stepping in on three days notice for, Kyle Nelson who was forced to withdraw due to visa issues. Woodson looks to remain undefeated after winning his UFC debut — a unanimous decision over Kyle Bochniak. Woodson originally earned his spot on the roster with a flying knee knockout on Season 3 of Dana White’s Contender Series. Woodson by KO/TKO.

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Next up in a heavyweight throw down, Philipe Lins (14-4) fights Tanner Boser (17-6-1). Lins is looking to rebound from a three-round decision loss to former champ Andrei Arlovski last month in Jacksonville, Florida. Lins via Decision.

In a middleweight contest Brendan ‘All In’ Allen (14-3) takes on Kyle Daukaus (9-0). Eight of Daukaus’s victories have come by way of submission. Allen has eight submission wins in his career as well to add to his four knockout finishes. Daukaus, is a late injury replacement for Ian Heinisch — making his promotional debut against Allen who is looking to extend his six-fight win streak and earn his fourth straight stoppage. Allen via TKO.

Gian Villante (17-11) squares off against Maurice Greene (8-5). Villante makes his debut in the heavyweight division after a long run at light heavyweight, weighing in officially at 255 pounds, the same weight Greene tipped the scales. Villante weighs fifty pounds more than when he last fought, losing by TKO to Michael Oleksiejczuk. I predict similar results for him against the 6’7” Green. Greene via K0/TKO.

In the co-main event, the always newsworthy ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry (13-6) fights fan-favorite Mickey Gall (6-2). Perry, who’s known for his antics inside and out of the cage, made headlines leading up to this showdown by announcing only his girlfriend will be in his corner verses Gall who gained fame by choking out CM Punk. I see this fight going one of two ways, Perry by vicious knockout or Gall by submission. Perry by KO/TKO.

In the main event, Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1NC) returns to the cage for the first time since missing his chance at lightweight gold — losing via rear-naked choke to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, on what is now known as Fight Island. He will be facing New Zealander, Dan Hooker (20-8) in a five-round fight. If Hooker can keep the fight in the center of the Octagon, using his length to chop away at Poirier’s lead leg, it will be a long night for the ‘Diamond.’ Poirier by decision.

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