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DraftKings Sportsbook UFC Fight Night Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker Free Pool Picks: Fights and Predictions

The UFC returns on Saturday, and DraftKings is offering multiple ways for users to get in on the action, including a free-to-play pool on DraftKings Sportsbook. To participate in the free pool, choose winners for each main card fight and compete for $500 in prizes. Head…

The UFC returns on Saturday, and DraftKings is offering multiple ways for users to get in on the action, including a free-to-play pool on DraftKings Sportsbook. To participate in the free pool, choose winners for each main card fight and compete for $500 in prizes. Head here to participate: Free $500 Pool: UFC Fight Night

In addition, DraftKings users can enter for their chance to win big prizes in Saturday’s MMA $600K Throwdown Special [$150K to 1st], which pays out a guaranteed $600,000, including $150,000 to first place. The fantasy MMA action gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Set your lineups here: MMA $600K Throwdown Special [$150K to 1st].

DraftKings users can also get in on the UFC action by betting on DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app. For future pool action, check out DraftKings Sportsbook Pools.

Below, Matt Nelson and Charlie Mayer share their thoughts on the ten questions in the UFC pool and break down the action, which includes four matchups. The free pool locks on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.


Could Dan Hooker upset Dustin Poirier this weekend?


Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker

The main event of the card features two lightweight contenders in Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. Poirier will look to rebound from a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship last September. Meanwhile, Hooker enters the fight having won three in a row, following his narrow split-decision victory over veteran Paul Felder in February. While both fighters are elite strikers, Poirier holds the slight advantage when standing. However, he’ll need to watch out for Hooker’s solid jab and effective kicks, both of which are capable of throwing Poirier off his game and preventing him from being aggressive. Poirier is at his best when he pressures forward and utilizes quick and powerful striking combinations to control the fight, while Hooker is most comfortable kickboxing on his feet looking to do damage in the clinch when possible. The biggest disparity between these two fighters is their UFC resumes. Poirier has numerous quality wins against former UFC champions Max Holloway (twice), Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez and current title contender Justin Gaethje. Hooker, on the other hand, only has a handful of decent wins against Felder, Al Iaquinta and Gilbert Burns. So while Hooker is a solid fighter who has established himself as a mainstay in the lightweight division, he should be no match for the battle-tested, well-rounded Poirier, who I expect to win by finish in the late rounds.


Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker – Winning Method

Since both fighters have combined for 22 knockouts and 14 submissions in their MMA careers, I expect this fight to end by stoppage. However, I don’t necessarily think that each fighter will be looking for a finish from the start. I envision Poirier patiently closing the distance and landing damaging combinations, occasionally taking the fight to the ground. Hooker will need to establish his jab, keep Poirier at range and land a flying knee or leg kick knockout if he wants to finish a crafty veteran like Poirier. And while a Hooker KO/TKO is plausible, I think Porier wins, either by decision or knockout. My pick is Poirier with a late TKO.


Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker – Total Rounds

Poirier’s game plan should be to move forward with caution and patiently outstrike Hooker, taking minimal damage in the process. This is why I don’t see the fight ending early. If Poirier is too aggressive, Hooker has the ability to capitalize on mistakes, steal a few rounds and land a fight-changing blow in the process. However, Poirier is a smart veteran fighter who knows that his best shot at a victory is to wear Hooker down in the early rounds and finish him late. My pick is that the fight goes over 2.5 rounds.


Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall

The eccentric Mike Perry takes on promising talent Mickey Gall in the co-main event of the card. Perry has lost two fights in a row, but will look to end the losing skid against Gall, who hasn’t yet faced anyone of Perry’s caliber. Perry’s strength as a fighter is in his standup game. He’s a powerful puncher who loves to move forward with aggression. Both fighters are fairly durable and can take punches with no regard, however, Gall hasn’t faced a fighter with the raw power and boxing skills of Perry. Gall’s gameplan will be to counterstrike when standing and utilize his solid wrestling and grappling to expose Perry’s weaknesses on the ground. Unfortunately for Gall, I don’t think he has the chin to stand and strike with Perry and I think Perry will be smart enough to keep this fight standing. Perry winning via early stoppage is my prediction.


Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall – Winning Method

If Mike Perry keeps this fight standing, his powerful striking gives him a massive advantage. And while he is a decent wrestler, he’ll be playing into Gall’s strengths if he takes this fight to the ground, where Gall is a dangerous submission artist. Perry’s gameplan should be to walk Gall down from the start, land punches from distance and elbows in the clinch. Gall will need to avoid Perry’s power shots and do whatever he can to take the fight to the ground and look for a submission. If he can control the fight on the ground, he is certainly capable of finishing the fight via submission. However, I’ll lean toward Perry ending this fight early and violently via first-round KO/TKO.


Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall – Total Rounds

While Gall has shown himself to be a durable fighter capable of taking punches, he’ll need to stick and move to avoid Perry’s power. I think Perry lands early and often, eventually catching Gall cleanly toward the end of the first round. Even if Gall manages a submission attempt or two, he’ll need to end this fight early if he has any shot at winning. Due to the finishing potential of both fighters, I think this fight ends under 1.5 rounds.


Which fighter are you fading for UFC Fight Night?


Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus

Brendan Allen takes on UFC newcomer Kyle Daukaus in what should be an exciting middleweight bout between two solid prospects. Allen has shown great promise since establishing himself with a win on the Dana White Contenders Series last July. Since then, he is 2-0 in the UFC with finishes in both fights. Allen is a sizable favorite in this matchup, while Daukaus enters as the underdog with an unbeaten 9-0 professional record. Daukas is stepping in to fight on short notice, but appears to be in excellent shape for this bout and likely has been preparing hard for this call-up opportunity. Allen’s finishes of Kevin Holland and Tom Breese have shown that he is fully capable of competing at the highest level. I think Allen will have the edge in striking with his powerful punches and because he also has the skills to grapple with Daukas he can keep this fight on the feet where he has the advantage. Look for Allen to be victorious as the more polished fighter with a larger arsenal of weapons in his striking and wrestling ability.


Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus – Winning Method

Brendan Allen has shown the skills to get the job done on his feet or on the mat at the UFC level. He delivers brutal knockout power and holds five KO/TKO finishes. In addition, Allen boasts eight submission victories with six by rear-naked choke. As his two UFC bouts have shown, you can expect him to go for the finish and I think he will look to end the fight early with heavy strikes. On the other side, eight of Daukaus’ nine wins have come by submission and if the fight goes to the ground, Allen will need to avoid chokes from all positions. While Daukaus will certainly be a threat to get the submission, Allen has the skills to put him away with an early KO and this is a very likely result for this fight.


Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene

Gian Villante (17-11) will be moving up in weight classes to face off against Maurice Greene (8-4) at heavyweight. Fighting out of the Serra Longo MMA camp, Villante is a highly experienced UFC veteran with 28 professional fights. Villante has a strong edge in wrestling while training alongside the likes of Chris Weidman and Aljamain Sterling. Maurice is coming off two losses, however he should be well prepared with his training for this match taking place at the well-regarded Jackson-Wink MMA fight camp. Greene utilizes a kickboxing style and stands tall at 6-foot-7. He will have both the height and reach advantage over the 6-foot-4 Villante. Despite this size difference, Villante should be able to use his wrestling ability to close the distance and neutralize Greene’s offense. Villante is the more experienced fighter and has shown durability that will serve him well in this matchup to push forward and outwork his opponent and cruise to a victory.


Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene – Winning Method

I expect this fight to go the distance, as both of these heavyweights look to slow one another down. Greene has four previous submission victories, however in all of his previous fights, Villante has never been submitted. Villante has an 83% takedown defense and as a former college D1 wrestler he will be able to keep the fight standing or attempt to take Greene down and control him on the mat. Greene does not possess a strong KO threat and only has two previous Knockout/TKO victories. Four of Villante’s past five fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards, and Villante to win by decision is a highly likely outcome here.


Analysis by Matt Nelson and Charlie Mayer


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