Dustin Poirier may have just broken through to the Top 10 of the lightweight division after his last win, but make no mistake – “The Diamond” is a serious contender at 155 pounds.
In the main event of Fight Night Hidalgo, Poirier takes on Michael Johnson and he’s looking to climb further up the ladder toward the title shot he’s been eyeing since leaving the weight cut to 145 pounds behind in 2015.
Since moving up in weight, Poirier has won four in a row -- including three knockouts -- and now seems poised to make some real noise at lightweight with a win over Johnson. But “The Menace” has his own plans of rising in the division. Johnson was seemingly a win or two away from his own title shot before a pair of decision losses derailed the Blackzilians standout.
A close look at the matchup shows the explosive potential of this pairing. Poirier has the second-most finishes in the entire UFC since 2011 with 11. The only fighter ahead of him is the always-entertaining Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Poirier is one of only 17 fighters in UFC history to land 10 or more knockdowns in his career.
On the other side, Johnson has the second-most knockdowns in lightweight history with eight. He also has elite wrestling skills, posting the sixth-highest takedown defense mark (81 percent) among active lightweights.
Poirier vs. Johnson is the No. 1 reason to watch Fight Night Hidalgo.
2 – Heated rivalry brings can’t-miss co-main event
No. 9-ranked Uriah Hall and No. 10-ranked Derek Brunson have been on a collision course for a few years. When the fight finally was announced for Hidalgo, the two middleweights began waging a verbal war on social media.
Now both men are eager to stop talking and start fighting.
Hall is coming off a disappointing loss against Robert Whittaker last time out, but his electrifying striking makes him one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC. He faces Brunson, who is known for his high-level wrestling and improving stand up game.
Brunson has won four in a row and his last three have been first-round knockouts. His work on the ground once the fight goes there is second to none. He rains big bombs and he lands. Hall said he’s worked on his takedown defense for this fight and he feels the fight will play out on the feet.
3 – A tale of two fighters
Dunham has 16 UFC appearances to his name, while Glenn is set to make his UFC debut Saturday night.
Glenn brings an 18-3-1 record with him into the Octagon and 10 career KOs. Dunham looks to continue his three-fight winning streak as he tries to maintain his place in the top 15 of the division.
4 – Rudeboy looks to get back on track
After a sensational debut by Randy Brown on the heels of his discovery on “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight,” the 26-year-old dropped his second fight inside the Octagon.
Brown faced an experienced Michael Graves out of American Top Team and got a taste of the talent level in the big leagues of the UFC.
Now Brown is back for a third jaunt in the UFC and he takes on Erick Montano in the main event of the UFC FIGHT PASS prelims.
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC