UFC 164 happens on Saturday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The card s full of exciting matchups, bet let’s take a look at the featherweight bout that will kick off the main card – Erik Koch vs Dustin Poirier.
Dustin Poirier is a particularly exciting fighter that comes out of Louisiana. With a record of 13-3, Poirier is coming off of a loss in his last fight; he dropped a decision to the currently surging Cub Swanson. This isn’t anything to be ashamed of, as Cub has been finishing most of his opponents quickly lately, and so Poirier showed true grit in battling to a decision. His fight before that was a stellar performance against the ultimate fighter winner Jonathan Brookins. He beat Brookins up and then finished him with a slick d’arce choke. This was somewhat of a reckoning for Poirier, as he had tapped to the same very rare submission in his previous fight against Chan Sung Jung – better known as “The Korean Zombie.” Jung and Poirier had an amazing back and forth fight that won the “fight of the year” accolade amongst nearly all the major mma media outlets. Poirier is known for his aggressive and precise striking, and his tenacity inside the ring. Will it be enough to overcome Eric Koch?
Eric Koch is also coming off of a loss in his previous fight. Ricardo Lamas was able to defeat him by taking him down and finishing him off halfway through the fight with elbows. It wasn’t a great showing for Koch, and it sent him tumbling down the rankings ladder. Curiously, Koch was offered a title shot against Jose Aldo previous to this after defeating Jonathan Brookins. Apparently beating Brookins equals a title shot for Koch, but not for Poirier. To make things even weirder, Koch declined the chance to fight for the title. No one seems to know why but it wound up being a pretty severe error in his career. He took the fight with Lamas instead and then nearly lost his spot in the top 10 of the division. With an overall record of 13-2, and a common opponent in Brookins, these two have been on a collision course for a while now. They even have a similiar style. That leads to my prediction.
I see Eric Koch as being a watered-down version of Dustin Poirier. They are both very well rounded, and both of them have great guards and submissions. The key factor in this fight I believe will be conditioning. Koch has the edge in that department, and he knows when to surge in order to win rounds and get the win. I think he will use these small tricks such as getting a takedown near the end of the round and staying active during key periods of the fight that will allow him to rally back from a rough first round and ultimately win the decision.