Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker engaged in one of the best fights of 2020, a five-round war last June that Poirier ultimately won by unanimous decision. That victory put Poirier in the driver's seat as he pursues another shot at the UFC lightweight championship, and on Saturday he'll compete in one of the biggest fights of his career -- a rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Hooker, meanwhile, gets a prime spot for himself on Saturday in another big lightweight showcase, as he takes on former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler, who is making his UFC debut. That fight could also decide a future title challenger, especially with the high likelihood that champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remains retired. Hooker said he doesn't have a pick in Poirier vs. McGregor. But he knows as well as anyone how tough Poirier is.
"As we all know, Conor has kind of the lulls of energy throughout the fight," Hooker told reporters this week at media day. "Dustin does not. Dustin constantly just builds throughout the fight. I don't feel like [McGregor is] gonna get [Poirier] out of there. If Conor doesn't hurt him badly early on and drain some of Dustin's gas away, I think it's gonna be difficult for [McGregor] in the later rounds."