| Fri 10/11/2017 - 13:06 EST

UFC Fight Night 120: Poirier vs Pettis Fight Card & Picks

UFC Fight Night 120: Poirier vs Pettis Fight Card & Picks

Pettis to Finish Poirier in a Classic

There are many ways you describe both no. 8-ranked Dustin Poirier (-115) and former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (-115) but "point-fighters" is definitely not one of them.

Both he and Pettis and are coming off decision wins over super durable veteran Jim Miller but have combined for 14 finishes in their UFC careers. They both fight to finish and can via the knockout or submission. This fight could end anywhere.

Both Pettis and Poirier are gifted MMA fighters that started with the WEC. Poirier trains under the lauded American Top Team with the likes of UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Amanda Nunes. Pettis is the prodigy of renowned striking coach Duke Roufus.

While Pettis is the only former champion of the two, Poirier has consistently been a top-ten fighter in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions.

The two are meeting at turning points in their career.

UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs Pettis

Poirier is what the gaming community would describe as a "glass cannon" referring to someone who has high offense but low defense. In seven of Poirier's last nine bouts, someone got knocked out. That's what happens when you're an aggressive striker who keeps improving and landing 5.14 significant strikes per minute at a 49.83 per cent clip.

Poirier continues to tighten up his game but he'll have to be air-tight against Pettis. 

Pettis looked remarkable against Miller but against Poirier, he'll have to find ways to create space. The pioneer of the "Showtime Kick" needs space to operate and it's not something Poirier is going to give him. In the fights Pettis lost, his opponents cut him off and prevented him from unleashing his arsenal of lethal kicks. He also has sneaky power in his punches.

Pettis will need to quickly make Poirier respect his power.

Pettis opened as a slight favourite initially but the lines have tightened with the public split on either. Both Poirier and Pettis can win via T/KO or by submission but the biggest x-factors here are Poirier's durability and Pettis's wrestling defense. 

As the more active striker, Poirier will dictate the pace of this fight. His ace-in-the-hole is his wrestling: a tactic both Eddie Alvarez and Rafael dos Anjos used to beat Pettis. However, Poirier should be weary not to get hit or tire himself attempting to grind Pettis out. This will leave him more susceptible to Pettis who can end him with a well-placed kick or punch.

Poirier will win using his work rate and cage aggression but Pettis will finish him within three rounds once he eventually catches him. Being an aggressive striker with a vulnerable chin makes Poirier a boom-or-bust fighter and against a masterful striker like Pettis, it's good night, sweet prince! Chalk another highlight reel finish for Showtime.

UFC Fight Night Norfolk Fights Worth Action:

No. 12-ranked Junior Albini (-380) is taking on a fading legend in Andrei Arlovski (+265). The former UFC champion has lost five straight and could hang up the gloves soon.

Albini is relatively untested but is quick, patient, and packs plenty of power. Bad news for Arlovski who is more experienced but could take a nap once Albini catches him. Albini by T/KO is only -165 and is a prop bet alternative to a straight bet.

Nate Marquardt (+220) is a live dog against the glass-jawed Cezar Ferreira (-300). Though he doesn't have much left in the tank, Marquardt can still knock fighters out. Marquardt can totally catch Ferreira and put him away. Marquardt to win by T/KO is +550 and is worth taking a stab at.   

Main Card (TSN 5, 10 PM ET)

  • Lightweight (155 lbs): #8 Dustin Poirier (-115) vs #13 Anthony Pettis (-115)
  • Welterweight (170 lbs): Matt Brown (-360) vs Diego Sanchez (+255)
  • Heavyweight (265 lbs): #12 Junior Albini (-380) vs #13 Andrei Arlovski (+265)
  • Middleweight (185 lbs): Nate Marquardt (+220) vs Cezar Ferreira (-300)
  • Bantamweight (135 lbs): #4 Raphael Assuncao (-365) vs #13 Matthew Lopez (+255)
  • Lightweight (155 lbs): Joe Lauzon (+110) vs Clay Guida (-135)

Preliminary Card (Fight Network, 8 PM ET)

  • Bantamweight (135 lbs): John Dodson (-125) vs Marlon Moraes (-105)
  • Women's Strawweight (115 lbs): Tatian Suarez (-300) vs Viviane Pereira (+220)
  • Lightweight (155 lbs):Sage Northcutt (-185) vs Michel Quinones (+145)
  • Women's Strawweight (115 lbs): Angela Hill (-210) vs Nina Ansaroff (+160)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET)

  • Welterweight (170 lbs):Court McGee (-270) vs Sean Strickland (+195)
  • Light Heavyweight (265 lbs): Jake Collier (+185) vs Marcel Fortuna (-250)
  • Middleweight (185 lbs): Darren Stewart (+175) vs Karl Roberson (-235)

MMA fans can head to these top-rated online sportsbooks to get a piece of the action. Signup bonuses are offered for new players making it worth exploring more than one bookie.  

Note: all betting odds via SportsInteraction

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