UFC 143 Fight Card Primer: Dustin Poirier Vs. Max Holloway

Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.

The prelims for UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit wrap up with a bout in the Featherweight division. UFC and WEC veteran Dustin Poirier (11-1; 3-0 UFC) faces UFC newcomer Max Holloway (4-0; UFC Debut). This 145 pound fight is the final fight on the FX prelim card. Porier is currently the #7 ranked Featherweight in the world according to the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, with Holloway unranked. The prelims air on FX starting at 8 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, with the PPV broadcast following at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

This fight was one of those replacement for a replacement fights where injury greatly changed the plan. As first scheduled, Poirier was to face the #8 ranked Erik Koch in a great fight that would have helped determine a possible challenger to Jose Aldo. When Koch was injured, he was replaced by #22 Ricardo Lamas. Lamas was then injured, and replaced by the debuting Holloway. While the Koch vs. Poirier fight would have been nice, Holloway, though overmatched on paper, is a very exciting prospect who could make a great fight here.

How do these two stack up?

Poirier: 23 years old | 5'9" | 73" reach
Holloway: 20 years old | 5'11" | 70" reach

What have these two done recently?

Poirier: W - Pablo Garza (Sub) | W - Jason Young (UD) | W - Josh Grispi (UD)
Holloway: W - Eddie Rincon (Dec) | W - Harris Sarmiento (SD) | W - Bryson Kamaka (KO)

How did these two get here?

Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier started his career fighting as a Lightweight in the regional circuit in Louisiana, where he trains with UFC veteran Tim Credeur. In 2010 he made the jump to the WEC as an undefeated prospect. A loss to Danny Castillo in his WEC debut led to him dropping down to Featherweight, where he has gone a perfect 4-0 in the WEC and UFC combined, with big wins over Josh Grispi and Pablo Garza among others. Poirier has a wild, highly aggressive style that has won him a lot of fans among the hardcore MMA fan base, but has yet to have that breakout performance that breaks through to the more casual fans.

Max "Blessed" Holloway will be stepping into the cage for only the 5th time when he faces Poirier. At 20 years old, he is now the youngest fighter on the current UFC roster. Holloway is 4-0, with all his fights coming in his home of Hawaii, and has a very strong highlight reel that suggests a nice future in MMA. In our 2012 Scouting Report, Holloway finished #7 in the Featherweight division, with Leland Roling praising his aggressive striking and his conditioning. He has fought against some solid competition, but he is facing an absolutely huge step up in competition here. He has a lot of potential - the question is can he capitalize on this massive opportunity?

Why should you care?

Poirier is known to UFC fans for bringing the excitement, and after Saturday, I expect Holloway could have that same reputation. This should be an incredibly fun throwdown, and a possible fight of the night (though on this card, there are a lot of fights up for that bonus).

For a more in-depth look at Poirier vs. Holloway, check out Dallas Winston's fight dissection and Leland Roling's scouting report on Holloway.

You can catch more UFC 143 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit

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