UFC on FUEL TV 7: Swanson vs. Poirier Saturday, February 16 – 4:45 p.m. ET
Wembley Arena – London, England
Cub Swanson (18-5) vs. Dustin Poirier (13-2) Featherweight bout
Line: Swanson -135, Poirier +105
Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier will square off in a featherweight bout Saturday night in the Octagon, both in search of a big win to propel them into potential title contention.
Swanson last lost in September 2011 to Ricardo Lamas and has since won three in a row, all via knockout. The last of those was a quick KO against Charles Oliveira. Poirier has lost more recently, falling to Chan Sung Jung in May, but rebounded well for an easy submission victory against Jonathan Brookins. Poirier is one of the top prospects in this featherweight division and is only getting better, while also holding a two-inch height advantage over Swanson. He has the chance to turn in the fight of his life with a potential shot at title contention down the road, and with such a good chance of him picking up another submission win, it’s surprising that he’s been placed as an underdog here. Take POIRIER for the mild upset. At 5-foot-7, Swanson gets by packing an uber-powerful punch, with all three of his consecutive knockouts coming from his fists. He has seven knockouts and seven submission victories to his name, adding just four decisions. He’s a top-notch scrambler who adds a solid ground game, but the one likelihood with this fight is that he doesn’t want to battle it out until the end. He will be aggressive in search of that early knockout, potentially risking his defenses and opening himself up to Poirier's deft attacks. He will need to be warier than he was against his past three foes, who do not own the physical potential of Poirier.
Grappling makes up nearly half of Poirier's attacking style and he will utilize that along with his two-inch height advantage against Swanson. Swanson has not fought this talented a submission-artist since Lamas, who beat him via submission. Three of Swanson’s five career losses have been via submission, boding well for Poirier's tactics. Poirier is now 5-1 in UFC and as a lightweight, and each step of the way he has demonstrated improvement and the potential to eventually be at the top of this weight class. Take him here.