UFC 168 fight card primer: Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Bloody Elbow previews all 11 fights taking place tonight in Las Vegas as part of UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2. Here, we look at the main card opener between Dustin Poirier and Diego Brandao.

What an excellent card we have tonight in Las Vegas. Not only do we have two title fights featured at UFC 168, but the main card is opened up with a dynamite battle between exciting young Featherweights Dustin Poirier (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Diego Brandao (18-8 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Brandao has been on a roll in his last 3 fights and is getting a big step up in competition against the #6 ranked featherweight Poirier. It's got all the making of a fight that will win FOTN honors and significantly affect the title picture, and you can catch this bout plus the rest of the main card starting at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT on PPV.

How do these two stack up?

Poirier: 24 years old | 5'9" | 73" reach
Brandao: 26 years old | 5'7" | 64" reach

How have these two done recently?

Poirier: W - Erik Koch (UD) | L - Cub Swanson (UD) | W - Jonathan Brookins (SUB)
Brandao: W - Daniel Pineda (UD) | W - Pablo Garza (SUB) | W - Joey Gambino (UD)

How did these two get here?

"The Diamond" first raised eyebrows with his wonderful showing against the heavily favored Josh Grispi, who was in line for a title shot against Jose Aldo before Aldo pulled out with an injury. A few more wins put Poirier in a main event spot against Chan Sung Jung in May 2012, and he and the Korean Zombie gave the fans one hell of a fight. Ultimately Poirier was hurt on the feet in the 4th round and finished with a d'arce choke, ending his unbeaten run at 145 lbs. He's alternated wins and losses in his last 3, but he looked very sharp against Erik Koch at UFC 164 and is set up for another entertaining battle this evening.

Brandao won season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter in a wild, enthralling performance against Dennis Bermudez. The Brazilian survived a knockdown and snatched an armbar off of his back with just 15 seconds left in the opening round to win the tournament in tremendous style. His KO power, submission skills, and all-around talent have made him one to watch in the division, and his last 3 fights have showcased his abilities to the fullest extent. A win tonight would vault the Greg Jackson fighter right into the top 10.

Why should you care?

Things have changed a bit. After finishing this piece up Brandao missed weight by 8 lbs and has been fined 25% of his purse. Poirier's reaction at the weigh-ins suggests we could be in for a heated fight this evening.

SBN coverage of UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva

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