Dustin Poirier won a thrilling unanimous decision over Dan Hooker on Saturday, surviving a brutal second round and persevering to finish a well-rounded performance in the main event at the UFC’s corporate gym.
Mike Perry also ended his two-fight skid with a one-sided unanimous decision over Mickey Gall in the penultimate fight of the UFC’s fifth consecutive fan-free event in its hometown.
The main event was a barn-burner from the opening round, with both lightweights trading wicked strikes and displaying minimal regard for defense. The second round was a particular spectacle, with each fighter badly hurting the other while throwing punches and knees at full power.
Photo: Chris Unger / Zuffa LLC / USA TODAY
The fight went to the ground in the fourth round and Poirier attempted several submissions before Hooker escaped. Poirier appeared to have more energy left for the fifth round and he won on all three cards: 48-47, 48-47 and 48-46.
“It was a tough one,” Poirier said. “Dan came to fight. He’s a tough guy. He’s on the rise. He really thought he was going to get past me. I trusted in my team, in my skill and my work ethic.”
Poirier (26-6) capped his long rise by beating Max Holloway in April last year for the interim lightweight title. He lost the belt to unbeaten champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in September last year and a leg injury subsequently kept him out of the cage for the longest stretch of his career.
He was back in fine form against Hooker (20-9), a tough kickboxing star from New Zealand who won seven of his previous eight bouts since 2016.
Perry had lost five of his past seven fights, and his wild mixed martial arts career took another swerve in recent months when he split with his wife, separated from his coaches and decided that his girlfriend, Latory Gonzalez, would be the only person in his corner at this fight.
Gonzalez does not have an extensive combat sports background and her corner work largely consisted of placing an ice bag on Perry’s neck between rounds and saying: “You’re doing great, baby.”
Perry used his superior striking skills and an impressive ground game to earn just his second win since July 2018.
“Every time we get in there, it’s all up to me,” said Perry, who plans to get new coaches before his next bout. “I trained for this. I’m a professional.”
The Taichung Warriors yesterday collapsed in the final at the 15th Taiwan Annual Cricket Cup in Chiayi City, but Chetan Sharma’s 50 scripted a near-unbelievable resurgence to snatch the trophy from the Taiwan Stars. Sharma’s 4-24 restricted the Stars to 130-6, but the reply was a disaster as the Warriors fell to 25-7 after six overs. However, Sharma undid all the work of opening bowlers Amir Sohail and Abrar Hussain (both 3-14) to guide them to a two-wicket win. The result reversed their group-stage encounter at the eight-team, two-day competition at the Yunsan baseball fields. In the semi-finals, Sohail took 4-21 as the Stars
British challenger INEOS Team UK yesterday launched their second America’s Cup sailboat in Auckland, New Zealand, a day after US syndicate American Magic also revealed their second-generation racer. The black-hulled monohull, christened Britannia, was lowered gently into the water outside the Team UK base after a small naming ceremony. Britannia, which is to be helmed by four-time Olympic sailing gold medalist Ben Ainslie in the challenger series starting in January next year, appeared to mark a major development over the team’s first-generation sailboat. “Today marks a landmark moment for all of us,” Ainslie said. “A huge amount of hard work and dedication has
Tennis player Sam Querrey of the US fled Russia in a private jet despite testing positive for COVID-19 and being ordered to quarantine, officials said on Thursday. The 33-year-old Querrey left Saint Petersburg with his wife, Abby, and nine-month-old son, Ford, following his removal from the Saint Petersburg Open ATP tournament after an initial negative test on Wednesday last week was followed by a positive test for him and “his family members” on Sunday. Under ATP health protocols, Querrey was told to isolate in his hotel room before plans were made for the family to move to a private apartment in the
Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang on Saturday broke the 200m short course butterfly world junior record at the opening meet of the International Swimming League season in Budapest, Hungary. The 18-year-old, who was representing the Cali Condors, a San Francisco-based professional swimming club, finished third in 1 minute, 50.79 seconds. Wang finished behind winner Tom Shields of the LA Current (1:50.43) and runner-up Chad le Clos of Energy Standard (1:50.48). Wang’s time broke the 2012 world junior record of 1:51.30 set by former Japanese national team captain Daiya Seto. It also broke his national record of 1:52.38, set at the 2018 FINA World Cup meeting