It was much closer than the judges scored it, but Dustin Poirier defeated British standout Jason Young by the scores (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a featherweight encounter on the UFC 131 preliminary card on Saturday night in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Poirer started the bout at a torrid pace, unleashing wild overhands and aggressive flurries to overwhelm Young early. Young weathered the storm and countered a few times during the round, but it was obvious that Poirier had got the better of Young during the round.
Young slowed down Poirier in the second, utilizing brutal leg kicks to the right leg, visibly affecting Poirier's pace and power. As the round progressed, Young found a home for a few counters, mixing in leg kicks that continued to bother Poirier. With twenty-five seconds left in the round, Poirier was able to get a takedown during a toe-to-toe scramble, potentially stealing the round.
Poirier gained an early takedown in the third round after pressing Young against the fence. Once Poirier completed the takedown, the round was halfway over, and Young was far too weary to complete a comeback.
Poirier put his name on the map after demolishing hot prospect Josh Grispi at UFC 125 in January. He had previously amassed a 1-1 record under the WEC's banner, dropping a decision to Danny Castillo in his debut with the promotion in August and defeating Zach Micklewright three months later at WEC 52.
Young was a late replacement for Rani Yahya, who was injured during training in the lead-up to tonight's bout. He was predominantly active in the British mixed martial arts scene, producing an 8-3 record under the promotional banners of Cage Rage, CWFC, and Ultimate Challenge.