In a Featherweight fight at UFC on Fox 1, Dustin Poirier (10-1; 2-0 UFC) faces Pablo Garza (11-1; 2-0 UFC). This is the second to last fight on the prelim card. Poirier is currently ranked #12 at Featherweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Garza is unranked. The prelims will be streamed online at FoxSports.com and Facebook starting at 4:45 p.m. ET.
This Featherweight fight is between two men who are somewhat mirror images of each other. Both came up through the US regional MMA scene. Both came into the WEC as Lightweights. And after suffering a loss at Lightweight, both men dropped to Featherweight and made the transition to the UFC. They're both 2-0 in the UFC and undefeated at 145 pounds. One of them will take their first Featherweight loss here, while the other tries to break out of the pack in this still developing division.
How do these two stack up?
Poirier: 22 years old | 5'9"
Garza: 27 years old | 6'1" | 73" reach
What have these two done recently?
Poirier: W - Jason Young (UD) | W - Josh Grispi (UD) | W - Zach Micklewright (TKO)
Garza: W - Yves Jabouin (Sub) | W - Fredson Paixao (KO) | L - Tiequan Zhang (Sub)
How did these two get here?
Despite the similarities in their backgrounds, Poirier has the higher ranking and profile thanks to the quality of his wins. In particular, he made an impression by upsetting #1 contender Josh Grispi at UFC 125. He's followed that up with a win over Jason Young. Despite that Grispi victory, Porier has not yet gained much traction in the division. A win here is another good step on the road to title contention, and would hopefully lead him to a higher level of opponent.
Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza had a very brief UFC run on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, where he was eliminated in the qualifying round. He moved over to the WEC as a Lightweight, and then dropped down to Featherweight when the WEC merged with the UFC. Like Poirier, he is 2-0 in the UFC, but his wins both come via spectacular stoppages - first a Knockout of the Night flying knee on Fredson Paixao, then a Submission of the Night flying triangle on Yves Jabouin. He's a flashy fighter, and is he pulls off another highlight reel win here, the UFC would be wise to give him some more exposure next time out.
Why should you care?
This is a good fight between two interesting up and comers. Poirier is moving into contender status, and a win here will keep elevating him. But Garza is known for fireworks, and can make more of a name for himself by stealing Poirier's momentum, especially if he does so the way he has won his last two.
More UFC on Fox preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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UFC on Fox: Cain Velasquez Career Retrospective Part 3 - Fraser Coffeen
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UFC on Fox: Cain Velasquez Career Retrospective Part 2 - Fraser Coffeen
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UFC on Fox Round Table - Is Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos The Most Important Fight In UFC History?
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UFC on Fox Press Conference Video and Coverage - Tim Burke
UFC on Fox Promo Video Takes Bob Arum to Task - Brent Brookhouse
UFC on Fox: Historical Significance of Network TV for Heavyweight Title Fight Being Undersold - Brent Brookhouse
UFC on Fox: With Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson in the Dark, Lightweight Title Picture Gets Murky - Leland Roling
UFC on Fox: Ben Henderson Says Winning is More Important Than Being on TV - Tim Burke
UFC on Fox: Cain Velasquez Career Retrospective Part 1 - Fraser Coffeen
Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 97: UFC 138 Aftermath, UFC on FOX Discussion
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UFC on Fox: Dana White Video Blog, Part 1 - Tim Burke
UFC on Fox: John McCarthy Likely to Referee Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos - Tim Burke
UFC on Fox: Clay Guida Wants Title Shot After Ben Henderson Bout - Brent Brookhouse
UFC on Fox 1 Fight Card: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos