UFC on ESPN 12 Recap and Results Poirier Survives Instant Classic

An explosive UFC on ESPN 12 saw just bleed action from top five welterweights Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker.

In an absolute war, Dustin Poirier (26-6) survived focused, on point Dan Hooker (20-9). After taking several round one jabs and leg kicks, "Diamond" exploded during round two while snapping his challenger's head back with well placed overhands. The fighting spirit of both men radiated during the middle rounds as "The Hangman" outwrestled Saturday's favorite. Sensing repeat title opportunities fading, former Interim 155 champ Poirier blitzed through Hooker's guard while landing tired-yet-telling elbows, hammerfists, uppercuts and body shots.

When most needed, the smaller Poirier wrestled near empty while always looking for the finish. Though, it was Poirier's 192-142 significant striking edge which pushed UFC on ESPN 12's main event in the highlight machine's favor.

With his latest showcase nod, no. 3-ranked Poirier has won six of seven -all against high-level opposition. The next logical step for the Louisiana native is a championship match between the upcoming winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje.

Meanwhile, in defeat no. 5-ranked Dan Hooker justified his spot among lightweight elite. The four takedowns and clinical opening stanza, however, weren't quite enough Saturday as Hooker lost for the first time in four outings.

As UFC on ESPN 12's near half hour of fantastic brutality resonates, shades of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar's initial encounter are recalled. Not just the fight of the night, hyperbole aside, Poirier v Hooker was the fight 2020 needed. Look for both combatants to find no shortage of matchmaking calls after a well-earned rest. And expect the 31-year-old "Diamond" to get another shot at outright title glory.

In other action...

Mickey Gall (6-3) vs. Mike Perry (14-6)

Gall landed the cleaner technical striking early as Perry flailed violent overhand rights. After battling in close quarters, the moderate favorite landed a decisive takedown on Gall to claim round one.

Proving his strength and wrestling chops, Perry again invested in the takedown to add round two points. Gall did find an escape, however, and continued landing at range until Perry landed an overhand right to fall and mount his opponent as the second horn rang.

The deciding round showed an exhausted Gall outstrike Perry only to pull guard and let his larger foe bank decisive points behind aggressive ground and pound.

In a fight where neither impressed, with his girlfriend working his corner, Mike Perry won for just the third time in eight fights. Meanwhile, Gall’s alternating wins and losses streak rests at six.


Heavyweights: Maurice Greene (9-4) vs. Gian Villante (17-11)

Round one saw Greene use superior movement and strikes as a blown-up Villante telegraphed his one-punch intent. Greene’s active length stole an almost one-sided opening five minutes.

An uneventful second frame had more Greene pot shots landing as he coasted through the second half of his allotted minutes. Villante offered little resistance as he appeared stuck in sparring partner mode.

Villante finally landed that one punch to nearly end matters as round three began. Following an eye poke, the Bellmore Kickboxing Academy disciple turned over a right hand which sent Greene crashing. Villante almost finished his much rangier opponent before the topsy-turvy final round ended as submission maven Greene applied an arm triangle from bottom. Villante tapped at 3:45 of round three.

Villante is likely on the UFC chopping block after dropping three of four. Conversely, Maurice Greene snapped a two fight losing skid.


Middleweights: (#13) Brendan Allen (15-3) vs. Kyle Daukaus (9-1)

After taking Daukaus' right hands, fringe contender Brendan Allen raised a knee that dropped his challenger. From there, the no. 13 middleweight contender controlled the underdog for substantial opening round chunks. However, the unbeaten prospect found his window after reversing Allen before being reversed to end an exciting five minute opener.

During the aforementioned scrum, the Rofusport trainee sliced his challenger’s forehead. Bloodied Daukaus spent the bulk of round two under Allen before sloppy technique put the unranked campaigner back in top control to end round two. Though, at the horn Allen landed a huge uppercut to earn needed points.

With each fighter wearing battle wounds, Daukaus landed a takedown to dominate round three from back control. Sensing his momentum slipping, Allen exploded out with twenty seconds remaining and frantically bid for the finish.

In a war of attrition, Brendan Allen took the slim unanimous decision verdict to claim six consecutive victories. And though defeated, Daukaus rose his stock proving he can compete with rising 185 lb. competition.

Welterweights: Takashi Sato (16-3) vs. Jason Witt (17-5)

In perhaps his most dominant paid victory, moderate favorite Takashi Sato jumped from the gate and finished Jason Witt at (0:47) of round one. Sato landed a powerful right which stunned late-replacement Witt before ending matters with back mount strikes. Having won three of four, the Tribe Tokyo MMA product has 11 pro TKOs. Meanwhile, Jason Witt’s four fight unbeaten run is abruptly halted.

Catchweight: Sean Woodson (7-1) vs. Julian Erosa (23-8)

Behind ridiculously long levers for his weight, round one saw Woodson pop fluid jabs and Muay Thai before heavy underdog Erosa offered token elbows and brief fence pressure. Using relentless advance, unbeaten Sean Woodson dominated the opening round as expected.

The middle frame spotlighted extended glimpses of Woodson’s defensive holes. Limited Erosa again cut off cage space while landing at a greater clip. By talent alone, Woodson edged the round. However, with stationary chin, hands by side and lax approach “The Sniper” failed to impress in so doing.

Those weaknesses became fatal flaws as unheralded Julian Erosa rag-dolled and submitted Woodson at (2:46) of round three.


The win vaults Erosa into regular Octagon employment. On the other side, Sean Woodson falls back several steps after dropping a fight he was widely favored in.

Joshua Broom of Winners and Whiners finished UFC on ESPN 12 with a 6-4 pick record, including a 4-2 main card SU handicap.

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Josh Broom

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