UFC Fight Night 120 tips: Best bets for Poirier v Pettis
We make our pick for the main event in Norfolk, Virignia, plus two other bouts on an exciting card.
Dustin Poirier v Anthony Pettis
Saturday night’s main event promises to be an entertaining fight between two excellent lightweights who both aspire to get back into the title picture.
Pettis is a former champion who dropped down to featherweight and missed weight for his interim title fight against Max Holloway last December, which he went on to lose.
He made a successful return to this division by beating Jim Miller in July, but Pettis has lost four of his last six fights and has struggled in the last couple of years against mobile strikers.
For that reason, this match-up looks dangerous for the 30-year-old.
Poirier is an excellent boxer coming off a no contest against Eddie Alvarez, which he was winning before the former champion caught him with two illegal knees.
The 28-year-old is not as flashy as Pettis but is arguably more effective at this stage of his career, having won five of his last seven fights and lost just once.
This fight will surely be played out almost entirely on the feet, and Poirier’s excellent footwork and boxing skills should keep him out of range and allow him to win the majority of the exchanges.
Pettis has only been stopped once in his career, so a points decision for the younger fighter looks the likeliest outcome.
Matt Brown v Diego Sanchez
This will be Brown’s last fight before retirement, and the 36-year-old should sign off with a win over fellow veteran Sanchez.
Brown has lost three successive fights and has only won once since 2014. However, unlike Sanchez, he has taken on some of the elite fighters in his division in recent years.
Sanchez has been fighting those outside of the title picture for a while now and hasn’t been successful, losing seven of his last 13 fights dating back to a lightweight championship fight with BJ Penn back in 2009.
The 35-year-old lacks the size and speed to trouble Brown, and will be at a clear disadvantage if he decides to engage in a brawl.
Sanchez has taken a lot of punishment over the years, and his first-round KO defeat to Al Iaquinta in April suggests that his chin won’t be good enough to see him to the end of this fight.
Junior Albini v Andrei Arlovski
Albini made a big impression in his UFC debut in July, stepping in against Timothy Johnson and scoring a first-round knockout.
The Brazilian has only lost twice in 16 MMA fights, and now faces a veteran heavyweight who could be out of the UFC altogether if he fails to win on Saturday.
Arlovski has lost five consecutive fights and looked awful in a decision loss to Marcin Tybura in Singapore in June.
The Belarusian possesses tremendous knockout power, but looks a spent force at the age of 38 and his chin appears to have gone completely.
Heavyweight fights rarely go the distance, and another stoppage win for Albini is a safe bet.