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UFC 164 fight card primer: Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier

The Bloody Elbow team breaks down all 12 fights from tonight's UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here, we look at Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

We've got ourselves a humdinger of a fight to open up the UFC 164 main card. Roufusport product Erik Koch (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has a virtual "home" fight in Milwaukee against fellow featherweight Dustin Poirier (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC). Both men have made their mark in both the WEC and UFC but are coming off tough losses in their last fights.

While Koch (ranked #10 in the official UFC rankings) and Poirier (#6) are formidable threats on the feet, they each possess good submissions and solid takedown defense. It should be a great fight no The UFC 164 main card airs live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Preceding that is the two hour preliminary card special on Fox Sports 1, which starts at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Koch: 24 years old | 5'9" | 70" reach
Poirier: 24 years old | 5'9" | 73" reach

What have these two done recently?

Koch: L - Ricardo Lamas (TKO) | W - Jonathan Brookins (UD) | W - Raphael Assuncao (KO)
Poirier: L - Cub Swanson (UD) | W - Jonathan Brookins (SUB) | L - Chan Sung Jung (SUB)

How did these two get here?

Koch was all but set to fight Jose Aldo for the featherweight title last year, but Aldo got injured before UFC 149 and Koch pulled out before UFC 153. Having gone the whole of 2012 without a fight, he faced off against the surging Ricardo Lamas in Chicago in January, but lost after Lamas brutalized his face with hard elbows. It's only the 2nd loss of Koch's career -- his other was against Chad Mendes -- but he's now without a win in almost 2 years and faces a stern test this evening.

Poirier first made waves in the UFC by upsetting the then-hailed future of featherweight in Josh Grispi. He won his next 2 fights to move closer to a title shot, but ended up on the losing end of an epic battle against the Korean Zombie, who submitted him with a d'arce choke in the 4th round. He bounced back with an impressive submission of Jonathan Brookins, only to lose a close but competitive decision against Cub Swanson.

Why should you care?

This is a fun fight between two young and exciting featherweights. Chances are you're looking at a FOTN contender and I very much am looking forward to this one.

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