Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Dustin Poirier and UFC Fight Night 120's other winning fighters?

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UFC Fight Night 120 was touted as one of the most stacked non-pay-per-view and non-FOX cards this year, and in the end, the six-fight main card largely delivered at Ted Constant Convocations Center in Norfolk, Va.

Headliner Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) pulled off the crowning performance of the card when he beat former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round stoppage in the FS1-televised bout, continuing his solid run in the 155-pound division.

Elsewhere on the card, Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC), Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Raphael Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) earned victories that ranged from total domination to scorecard squeakers.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 120’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Clay Guida

Joseph Duffy

Should fight: Joseph Duffy
Why they should fight: Guida’s return to the UFC lightweight division is proving to be a good one after he moved to 2-0 with a victory over fellow UFC veteran Joe Lauzon.

Despite spending a decade together under the UFC banner, Guida and Lauzon had never crossed paths. When it finally happened, “The Carpenter” pulled off a first-round TKO victory over Lauzon to continue his revival in the 155-pound division.

Guida said his stint in the featherweight division was only to provide “star power” to the weight class, but he admitted lightweight is best for him. He believes he can do big things, but at 35 and with more than 50 pro fights, it remains to be seen how far he can go.

If Guida can consistently rack up wins like he did against Lauzon, he’ll have a place on the UFC roster for as long as he wants. He’s going to get challenging competition every time out, though, and Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is a very dangerous fighter.

Duffy is coming off a TKO loss to James Vick at UFC 217 this month and will surely be looking to rebound as quickly as possible. Guida represents a solid name for the Irishman, and Duffy would be a solid win for Guida.

Raphael Assuncao

Cody Garbrandt

Should fight: Cody Garbrandt
Why they should fight: Assuncao emerged victorious in a high-risk fight against an up-and-coming bantamweight when he picked up a brutal third-round knockout of Matthew Lopez.

Lopez came into the fight looking to threaten Assuncao’s status as an established top-five fighter in the 135-pound division. The Brazilian denied that possibility, though, and improved to a ridiculous 10-1 in his past 11 UFC appearances.

There’s good and bad for Assuncao at this point. He owns a victory over newly crowned UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw, but he also has a loss to the currently titleholder in their rematch at UFC 200 in July 2016. A trilogy could always happen if the circumstances are right, but at this point, it’s obvious the UFC isn’t eager to push Assuncao into a title shot.

That leaves him in the undesirable position of fighting top opponents until he loses again or wins to the point he can’t be denied. He’ll surely want the latter, and that means taking on the next best available challenge. At this point, recently dethroned champ Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) would be his best way to make a statement.

Cezar Ferreira

Antonio Carlos Junior

Should fight: Antonio Carlos Junior
Why they should fight: Ferreira’s return to the middleweight division has been largely successful. He improved to 4-1 since returning to the weight class after scoring a split-decision victory over tough veteran and former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” winner had had some ups and downs in his UFC tenure, but his form is consistently improving. He caught a version of Marquardt wh’os in the twilight of his career, but beating “The Great” is still a somewhat meaningful accomplishment.

Ferreira has fallen short against his most notable opponents in the past, but against Marquardt, he came through. He needs a solid test at this point, and when it comes to 185-pound fighters on the rise, Carlos Junior (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) looks pretty good.

Carlos Junior is another “TUF: Brazil” winner who is on a four-fight winning streak, which includes a recent submission win over Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 119. A matchup between the two reality-show winners is a solid enough narrative, and the fact their skills match up well only makes things better.

Andrei Arlovski

Curtis Blaydes

Should fight: Curtis Blaydes
Why they should fight: Just when Arlovski appeared to be written off for good in the UFC heavyweight division, the former champ rebounded with a crucial victory against Brazilian prospect Junior Albini.

It’s been a rough road for Arlovski in recent years. However, he managed to snap a brutal five-fight losing skid when he picked up a unanimous-decision win over Albini to return to the win column for the first time since September 2015.

Regardless of whether anyone has objections over Arlovski still fighting at this point, the 38-year-old is determined to keep going, even if he has to fight unheralded opponents in the heavyweight division.

That’s a useful item to have for UFC matchmakers, and they will likely continue to use Arlovski as a measuring stick for rising talent. Albini was unable to pass, but perhaps Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who’s another fighter with growing momentum, would have something else to offer “The Pitbull.”

Matt Brown

Should fight: No one
Why: Although Brown has already walked back the possibility of a guaranteed retirement, a brutal knockout of Diego Sanchez seems like a solid way to ride off into the sunset for “The Immortal.”

Brown originally announced his bout with Sanchez would mark his retirement. However, he slowed those conversations ahead of fight night. Even with the first-round knockout of “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner, it’s still an option worth considering, and Brown seems like he’s going to take some time off to make that decision.

With 24 UFC fights under his belt and at age 36, Brown has gone through the ringer inside the octagon. Every fighter who retires appears to have some measure of reluctance, but for Brown, there’s not much more to prove.

He said a hiatus from competition is coming and that it’s just a matter of whether it sticks. Only time will tell, but regardless of which way it goes, it seems Brown won’t be fighting anytime soon, and for that reason, speculating on matchmaking possibilities is a useless endeavor.

Dustin Poirier

Should fight: Winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC 218
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Poirier should fight the winner of the UFC 218 bout between Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 120 post-event facts: Matt Brown most prominent KO artist in UFC welterweight history

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The UFC made its fifth stop in Virginia with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) continued to be one of the UFC’s biggest producers of stoppage wins when he defeated former UFC and WEC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round TKO to add another signature win to his resume at 155 pounds.

Poirier’s victory concluded a 13-fight card that had several notable results. For more, check below for 55 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

General

Clay Guida

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $245,000.

Poirier, Pettis, Matt Brown and Raphael Assuncao earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 120 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 120 drew an announced attendance of 8,442 for a live gate of $642,070.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card. One fight had even odds.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:32:30.

Main card

Dustin Poirier

Poirier improved to 6-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier has earned nine of his 14 UFC victories by stoppage.

Poirier’s 14 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Max Holloway for third most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19) and champ Demetrious Johnson (15).

Poirier’s nine stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Holloway and Tony Ferguson for second most in the company behind Cerrone (13).

Anthony Pettis

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights.

Pettis fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in July.

Pettis fell to 2-5 in his past seven UFC appearances.

Pettis has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Brown’s (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19) and Matt Hughes (16).

Brown’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown’s 10 knockout victories in welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) is now 0-1 since returning to the UFC welterweight division. He’s 9-5 overall at the weight under the UFC banner.

Sanchez fell to 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Sanchez has suffered all four of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) snapped a five-fight losing skid and earned his first victory since September 2015.

Arlovski improved to 5-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 15 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Frank Mir (16).

Junior Albini

Junior Albini (14-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since August 2012.

Albini suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) improved to 4-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira has earned six of his eight UFC victories by decision.

Nate Marquardt (35-19-2 MMA, 14-11 UFC) fell to 3-6 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-9 in his past 12 bouts overall.

Marquardt fell to 3-9 in his past 12 bouts.

Marquardt’s 12 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (13).

Marquardt’s 19 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Raphael Assuncao

Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) improved to 10-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s 10 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11).

Assuncao earned his first knockout victory since July 11, 2012 – a span of 1,949 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in June.

Guida earned his first knockout victory since April 2, 2008 – a span of 3,510 days (more than nine years) and 19 fights.

Joe Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC) has suffered eight of his 14 career losses by stoppage.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) fell to 2-2 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-2 in the weight class overall.

Dodson has suffered all nine of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) returned from a more than one-year layoff for her first victory since July 2016.

Viviane Pereira (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had her 13-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned the second decision victory of his career. Both those wins have come in his past two fights.

Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of his three career losses by decision.

Nina Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned just the second decision victory of her career and first since Sept. 11, 2010 – a span of 2,618 days (more than seven years) and 12 fights.

Angela Hill (7-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February. She’s 5-2 since her initial release from the company in late 2015.

Hill has suffered three of her four career losses by decision.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland (19-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) improved to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Strickland has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Court McGee (18-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) fell to 2-3 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee fell to 4-4 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee has suffered six of his seven career losses by decision.

Jake Collier

Jake Collier (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his six-fight UFC career.

Marcel Fortuna (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Karl Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned five of his six career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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UFC Fight Night 120 Athlete Outfitting pay: Highest non-PPV payout in program history

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NORFOLK, Va. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $245,000.

UFC Fight Night 120 took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Seven fighters on the card earned a maximum non-title payout of $20,000, the most of any card thus far in the history of the program.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Dustin Poirier: $20,000
def. Anthony Pettis: $15,000

Matt Brown: $20,000
def. Diego Sanchez: $20,000

Andrei Arlovski: $20,000
def. Junior Albini: $2,500

Cezar Ferreira: $10,000
def. Nate Marquardt: $20,000

Raphael Assuncao: $15,000
def. Matthew Lopez: $2,500

Clay Guida: $20,000
def. Joe Lauzon: $20,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. John Dodson: $10,000

Tatiana Suarez: $2,500
def. Viviane Pereira: $2,500

Sage Northcutt: $5,000
def. Michel Quinones: $2,500

Nina Ansaroff: $2,500
def. Angela Hill: $5,000

Sean Strickland: $5,000
def. Court McGee: $10,000

Jake Collier: $5,000
def. Marcel Fortuna: $2,500

Karl Roberson: $2,500
def. Darren Stewart: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,322,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,645,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 120

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, Va., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (submission due to injury) – Round 3, 2:08

Dustin Poirier: “The Boss” by James Brown

Anthony Pettis: “Showtime” by Jim Jones & Tum Tum

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 3:44

Matt Brown: “The Immortal” by Jasta

Diego Sanchez: “Hall of Fame” by Script feat. WILL.I.AM

Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Andrei Arlovski: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

Junior Albini: “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia

Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Cezar Ferreira: “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti

Nate Marquardt: “Why Wait” by P.O.D.

Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 1:50

Raphael Assuncao: “Podo Vir” by Tiago Brasil

Matthew Lopez: “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:07

Clay Guida: “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue

Joe Lauzon: “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch

Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)

Marlon Moraes: “Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey

John Dodson: “Children of the Night” by Kids Next Door

Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Tatiana Suarez: “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Viviane Pereira: “Pesadao” by IZA

Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sage Northcutt: “Represent” by Lecrae feat. Tedashi

Michel Quinones: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin

Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nina Ansaroff: “Try Everything” by Shakira

Angela Hill: “Battle Hymn” by Manowar

Sean Strickland def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Sean Strickland: “Star Spangled Banner” by Electric Guitar

Court McGee: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem

Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Collier: “Remember My Name” by Maino

Marcel Fortuna: “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC

Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:41

Karl Roberson: “New Level” by A$AP Ferg feat. Future

Darren Stewart: “Original Nuttah” by Shy-FX

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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UFC Fight Night 120 results: Cezar Ferreira edges out Nate Marquardt, calls out Paulo Costa

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It was a back-and-forth battle, and Nate Marquardt (35-19-2 MMA, 13-12 UFC) ended in fine fashion, but Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) ultimately took home a split-decision win.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Marquardt took the center of the cage to start the fight, and the taller Ferreira stayed at range, patient to open. Marquardt was the first to really attack, launching a few powerful punches that were blocked, thought it was a Ferreira left that seemed to be the first direct hit.

As the action played out, Ferreira was content to let Marquardt come to him and then unleash big left hands in return. Marquardt’s right eye was busted up early, and he began to take a more measured approach to his attacks. The pace slowed a bit, leading to a restless crowd, but both man was trying to remain disciplined in their approach. Marquardt landed a crisp right late, perhaps his best shot of the round.

The two were again patient to start the second. Ferreira continued to chop the legs a bit, and Marquardt was able to eventually get inside and wrap the body. However, he couldn’t capitalize on the position, and they returned to the center. Following a Marquardt right hand, Ferreira actually looked to bring the fight to the floor but fell short after a brief scramble. Ferreira seemed to be the aggressor late, though both men really were set on waiting to counter. Marquardt again did his best work late, landing a few big right hands and actually knocking Ferreira down just before the bell, creating a wild flurry to close the frame.

With the bout seemingly hanging in the balance in the third, both men came out quick. Ferreira landed a right that stunned his foe and then quickly followed with a big takedown, falling into his opponent’s guard. Marquardt wisely worked to a knee and then his feet, but Ferreira maintained control of the body as they scrambled. Marquardt tried to grab the neck as they stood, but Ferreira lifted his opponent high in the air and slammed him to the floor, popping his head free and moving to side control. Marquardt tried to scramble for the remainder of the round, but Ferreira stayed heavy on top until the end, when he moved to bottom position to try and finish a guillotine. Marquardt capitalized with his only offensive moment of the round, slicing open Ferreira with a nasty elbow right at the bell.

It was too little, too late, though, and Ferreira took home a split-decision win, 28-29, 29-28 and 29-28. Afterward, “Mutante” called for a future fight with fast-rising middleweight contender Paulo Costa.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 120 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in Norfolk.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Norfolk staff picks: In close fight, who has edge between Anthony Pettis, Dustin Poirier?

Pettis
vs.
Poirier
Brown
vs.
Sanchez
Albini
vs.
Arlovski
Ferreira
vs.
Marquardt
Assuncao
vs.
Lopez
Guida
vs.
Lauzon
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 108-72
poirier2017
Poirier
(57%)
mbrown2017
Brown
(80%)
albini2017
Albini
(62%)
ferreira2017
Ferreira
(53%)
assuncao2017
Assuncao
(90%)
lauzon2017
Lauzon
(72%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 114-66
poirier2017
Poirier
mbrown2017
Brown
albini2017
Albini
ferreira2017
Ferreira
mlopez2017
Lopez
lauzon2017
Lauzon
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 112-68
trophy copy 2016 Champion
apettis2017
Pettis
mbrown2017
Brown
albini2017
Albini
ferreira2017
Ferreira
assuncao2017
Assuncao
lauzon2017
Lauzon
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 111-69
poirier2017
Poirier
mbrown2017
Brown
albini2017
Albini
ferreira2017
Ferreira
assuncao2017
Assuncao
lauzon2017
Lauzon
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 111-69
trophy copy 2015 Champion
poirier2017
Poirier
mbrown2017
Brown
albini2017
Albini
ferreira2017
Ferreira
assuncao2017
Assuncao
guida2017
Guida
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 109-71
poirier2017
Poirier
mbrown2017
Brown
arlovski2017
Arlovski
ferreira2017
Ferreira
assuncao2017
Assuncao
guida2017
Guida
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 106-74
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Brown
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Albini
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Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 105-75
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George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 104-76
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John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 102-78
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Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 101-77
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Guida

For the fourth time overall, and first time in Norfolk, the UFC touches down in Virginia this week.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., on the campus of Old Dominion University. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) takes on perennial title contender Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC). The 155-pound bout is a close one with the oddsmakers – Pettis is just a slight favorite. But it’s Poirier who has an overwhelming 8-2 advantage from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) will fight for the final time when he meets Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) in a welterweight bout. Brown is a 3.5-1 favorite over Sanchez, and he has an overwhelming 9-1 edge from our pickers.

Also on the main card, heavyweight prospect Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on former champ Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who will be trying to snap a five-fight skid. Albini is more than a 3-1 favorite and is a 7-3 pick from our staff members. Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is yet another big favorite in his middleweight bout against Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC), and only one of our pickers is brave enough to take Marquardt with the upset, leaving Ferreira a 9-1 choice.

Bantamweight standout Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is more than a 3-1 favorite and is a 9-1 pick over Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). And to open the main card, a lightweight fight between Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) and Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) features 24 fight-night bonuses between the two. It’s the closest fight on the card from an odds standpoint, and it’s the closest fight in our picks: Lauzon has just a 6-4 edge.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Poirier, Brown, Albini, Ferreira, Assuncao and Lauzon are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Norfolk in-depth breakdown: Stylistic matchups, fight picks, best bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 120’s main-card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Dustin Poirier (21-5-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC)

Dustin Poirier

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 28 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 73″
  • Last fight: No-conest with Eddie Alvarez (May 13, 2017)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 10 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Improved overall boxing
^ Cage-cutting, shifting, angles
+ Accurate left cross
^ Dangerous off of the counter
+ Strong inside of the clinch
+ Underrated wrestling ability
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Solid submissions and scrambling
+/- Aggressive in exchanges

Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC)

Anthony Pettis

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 30 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 72″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Jim Miller (July 8, 2017)
  • Camp: Roufusport (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Former UFC lightweight champion
+ Taekowndo black belt (3rd degree)
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 9 KO victories
+ 7 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ Good footwork and feints
+ Improved boxing
^ Accurate counter-cross
+ Diverse kicking game
^ Dangerous body attacks
+ Improved wrestling ability
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Slick submission setups
+/- 2-1 against UFC southpaws

Summary:

The main event for UFC Fight Night 120 is a potential barnburner between Dustin Poirer and Anthony Pettis.

Comming off of a controversial no-contest with Eddie Alvarez earlier this year, Poirer gets another opportunity against a former champion.

Looking to avoid the role of stepping stone is Pettis, a former kingpin at 155 pound who’s seeking to make a statement in his return to the division.

Starting off on the feet, we have a matchup of two dangerous and diverse strikers.

Poirier, the southpaw, has made significant improvements to his game since moving shop to American Top Team. Demonstrating an excellent awareness of footwork, the Louisianan slugger will now shift his stance for setups or adjust his angles accordingly.

Utilizing this style of shifting to create attack opportunities, Poirier has also shown to sit down more on his punches, giving three fighters their first stoppage losses since moving to lightweight. Whether he is prodding, pulling or returning, everything Poirier throws seems to have a real potency to it.

Still, firepower is a two-way street.

Coming from a taekwondo base, Pettis has been able to bring a spectacular array of kicking attacks into the cage. Balancing out his traditional stylings under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, we have seen Pettis round out his attacks with punches and feints to help set up his fight-ending kicks.

As flashy as some of the kicks on his highlight reel may be, Pettis’ body kick seems to be his bread and butter, and he unloads them from either stance with authority. Considering that his opponent likes to utilize a shell-defense, this could be a strike worth watching for from Pettis.

That said, the former lightweight champion won’t be without trends of his own. Despite having a good radar for most strikes, left hands seem to be Pettis’ common culprit. Given that the left-cross (both coming forward and off the counter) is Poirier’s best punch, Pettis, too, will have to be on high alert inside of exchanges.

Regardless of how heated striking stanzas get, this fire could reach even higher temperatures should it touch the floor.

Both men have quietly developed their wrestling games and possess serviceable takedown abilities in the open and against the fence. Although I give Poirer a slight edge in this department for being the more consistent pursuer of shots, I would not bank on either man comfortably grounding the other.

Furthermore, each fighter does well with creating scrambles once grounded, making ground exchanges even more compelling. Neither competitor is afraid to throw up attacks from their back, nor is he afraid to bait a submission from topside to pass and advance. And with the proven grit that is attached to their technical savvy, I suspect that both men will be hard to submit soberly.

With Las Vegas odds slightly favoring Pettis, I can’t say that I disagree.

Not only does Pettis have multiple paths to victory, but he is also the more proven five-round product. Poirier, who tends to give a little too much of himself at times, could find himself in troublesome spots should he not manage his approach wisely.

However, should the Louisianan avoid the big shots early and stay present at the steering wheel, I see his pressure-fighting approach paying dividends both stylistically and on the scorecards. Pettis has the propensity to fight in between the fence and inner-black octagon lines, which also just so happens to be where Poirier makes his money (whether it be by strikes or takedowns).

If Poirier is allowed to reach his cruising altitude, Pettis could quickly find himself reacquainted with the wrong side of pressure. For that reason, I will reluctantly side with Poirier in what I feel will ultimately be a back-and-forth war.

Whichever side you are on, I suggest caution in playing it; this is a gunfight, folks.

Official pick: Poirier by decision

Official outcome: To be determined

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s lengthy stretch of events in the fourth quarter of the year continues Saturday with UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The deep fight card filled with notable names features a key lightweight bout in the main event. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) looks to continue his run of success since returning to the 155-pound division when he takes on former UFC champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) in a matchup with high potential for fireworks.

Four other former UFC champions and title challengers are also featured on the card, which marks the organization’s fourth event in Virginia. For more on the numbers behind the event, check below for 80 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

Main event

Dustin Poirier

Poirier is 5-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier’s 13 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19), Demetrious Johnson (15) and Max Holloway (14).

Poirier’s eight stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Cerrone (13), Tony Ferguson (nine) and Holloway (nine).

Poirier lands 6.72 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Poirier is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn two or more submission victories by D’Arce choke. Tony Ferguson and Vicente Luque also accomplished the feat.

Anthony Pettis

Pettis makes his fourth UFC main-event appearance. He’s 1-2 in previous headliners.

Pettis was successful in his return to the lightweight division in July after a two-fight stint at featherweight.

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past four fights. He was victorious in his most recent bout against Jim Miller at UFC 213.

Pettis has earned 16 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven UFC wins.

Pettis is the only fighter in UFC history to win consecutive UFC lightweight title fights by submission.

Pettis’ three knockout victories in UFC/WEC competition stemming from a kick to the head or body are tied for fourth most in combined promotional history behind Cerrone (six), Vitor Belfort (four) and Edson Barboza (four).

Co-main event

Matt Brown

Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC welterweight bout, tied with Josh Koscheck for most appearances in divisional history.

Brown is 1-5 in his past six bouts after going on a seven-fight UFC winning streak from 2012-2014.

Brown has earned 18 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes 11 of his 13 wins under the UFC banner.

Brown’s 13 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fifth most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19), Matt Hughes (16), Josh Koscheck (14) and Thiago Alves (14).

Brown’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes for most in divisional history.

Brown’s nine knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown lands 54 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Brown’s 24 submission attempts in UFC welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (31).

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) returns to the welterweight division for the first time since February 2012. He’s 9-4 in the weight class under the UFC banner.

Sanchez competes in his 27th UFC bout, tied for the third most appearances in company history behind Michael Bisping (28) and Miller (28).

Sanchez has alternated wins and losses of his past seven UFC appearances. He suffered a loss to Al Iaquinta in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 108.

Sanchez is the only active UFC fighter who was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 1.”

Sanchez is one of two fighters in UFC history to compete in four different weight classes. Kenny Florian also accomplished the feat.

Sanchez has earned his past eight victories by decision. He hasn’t finished an opponent since Luigi Fioravanti at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in June 2008.

Sanchez has fought to a decision 18 times in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Sanchez has absorbed 1,117 total head strikes in his UFC career, the second most among active fighters behind B.J. Penn (1,282) and third most overall in company history behind Penn and Tito Ortiz (1,167).

Sanchez has earned six “Fight of the Night” bonuses in UFC competition, tied for fourth most in company history behind Nate Diaz (eight), Frankie Edgar (seven) and Joe Lauzon (seven).

Remaining main card

Andrei Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC heavyweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Frank Mir (27).

Arlovski enters the event on a five-fight losing skid, the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2015.

Arlovski is 4-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 14 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Mir (16).

Arlovski’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Gabriel Gonzaga for second most in divisional history behind Mir (13).

Andrei Arlovski

Arlovski’s nine knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Cain Velasquez (10).

Arlovski’s 10 knockdowns landed in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Velasquez for second most in divisional history behind Junior Dos Santos (12).

Arlovski’s eight knockout losses in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Mir, Gonzaga and Antonio Silva for second most in combined organizational history behind Alistair Overeem (nine).

Arlovski defends 81.5 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since August 2012.

Albini has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Nate Marquardt

Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) competes in his 23rd UFC middleweight bout, tied with Bisping for most appearances in divisional history.

Marquardt is 3-5 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-8 in his past 11 bouts overall.

Marquardt’s 13 victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Yushin Okami for third most in divisional history behind Bisping (16) and Anderson Silva (14).

Marquardt’s nine stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Leben for second most in divisional history behind Silva (11).

Marquardt’s 11 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Silva (13).

Nate Marquardt

Marquardt’s four knockdowns landed against Dean Lister at UFC Fight Night 8 stand as the most in a UFC middleweight fight.

Marquardt’s 33 takedowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are fourth most in divisional history behind Chris Weidman (36), Rafael Natal (36) and Chael Sonnen (35).

Marquardt’s 18 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is 3-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira completes 69.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Raphael Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is 9-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s nine victories in UFC bantamweight competition are third most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11) and Urijah Faber (10).

Assuncao has earned seven of his nine UFC victories by decision.

Assuncao defends 70 of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC bantamweight competition, the third highest rate in divisional history behind Vaughan Lee (71.5 percent) and Dominick Cruz (70.9 percent).

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC lightweight division at UFC Fight Night 112 in July.

Guida’s 63 takedowns landed in UFC competition are fifth most in company history behind St-Pierre (90), Gleison Tibau (84), Johnson (73) and Edgar (67).

Guida has attempted 172 takedowns during his UFC career, third most in company history behind Demian Maia (223) and Edgar (189).

Joe Lauzon

Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) competes in his 25th UFC lightweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Miller (27) and Tibau (26).

Lauzon’s 14 victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for the fourth most in divisional history behind Miller (16), Tibau (16) and Cerrone (15).

Lauzon has alternated wins and losses over his past eight UFC appearances. He lost his most recent bout against Stevie Ray at UFC Fight Night 108.

Lauzon has earned 25 of his 27 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 18 of those wins by submission.

Lauzon’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC lightweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s seven submission victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Diaz for the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s 29 submission attempts in UFC competition are third most in company history behind Miller (38) and Lytle (31).

Lauzon has been awarded 15 fight-night bonuses during his UFC career, tied with Diaz for most in company history.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is 2-1 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-1 in the weight class overall.

Dodson’s 37-second knockout of Manny Gamburyan at UFC on FOX 19 stands as the fifth fastest knockout in UFC bantamweight history.

Dodson has suffered all eight of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since July 8, 2016. The 491-day layoff is the longest of her nearly four-year career.

Suarez earned the first and only D’arce choke submission in UFC women’s competition at the TUF 23 Finale.

Viviane Pereira’s (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) 13-fight MMA winning streak is longest among female UFC fighters.

Pereira has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Northcutt, at 19, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn a victory when he defeated Francisco Trevino at UFC 192.

Angela Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is 1-1 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February.

Hill is 5-1 since her initial release from the UFC in late 2015.

Hill’s two knockdowns landed in UFC strawweight competition are tied with champ Rose Namajunas for most in divisional history.

Nina Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) competes in her just her third bout since November 2014.

Court McGee

Court McGee (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is 2-2 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee is 4-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee is one of three fighters in UFC history to land 100-plus significant strikes in a single fight in two separate weight classes. Nam Phan and Valerie Letourneau also accomplished the feat.

Sean Strickland (18-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is 3-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Jake Collier (10-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight UFC career. He lost his most recent bout against Devin Clark at UFC on FOX 24.

Collier is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back kick to the body. He accomplished the feat against Alberto Uda at UFC Fight Night 88.

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 120 in Virginia

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event in Virginia.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 120 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier

Records: Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) vs. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC)
Past five: Pettis 2-3, Poirier 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Pettis No. 11, Poirier No. 13
Odds (as of 11/06/17): Pettis -125, Poirier +105

Take Our Poll
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Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez

Records: Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) vs. Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC)
Past five: Brown 1-4, Sanchez 2-3
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

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Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski

Records: Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC)
Past five: Albini 5-0, Arlovski 0-5
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

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Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt

Records: Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC)
Past five: Ferreira 3-2, Marquardt 2-3
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

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Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez

Records: Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Assuncao 4-1, Lopez 4-1
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: Assuncao No. 4
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

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Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

Records: Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC)
Past five: Guida 2-3, Lauzon 2-3
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

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For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 lineup finalized, and the Norfolk fight card isn't too shabby

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The lineup is set for the UFC’s upcoming return to Old Dominion.

UFC Fight Night 120, the UFC’s first event in Virginia since UFC Fight Night 63 in 2015, takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The main event features two 155-pound notables. Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) got his wish following a recent callout of fellow contender Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC).

Pettis, who’s No. 11 in the MMA lightweight rankings, recently earned a unanimous-decision victory over Jim Miller to improve to 2-1 since a disastrous three-fight skid in 2016. He meets Poirier, a perennial contender who’s ranked No. 13. Poirier was on a stellar 5-1 run before a recent bout with ex-titleholder Eddie Alvarez ended in a no-contest due to illegal knees from Alvarez.

In the co-main event, two longtime UFC fighters and tough-as-nails vets meet when welterweight Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) takes on fellow fan favorite Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC). Brown plans to retire after the fight.

Rounding out the main card are former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) vs. Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), former middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), No. 4-ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), and veteran lightweights Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) vs. Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC).

In the featured prelim, former flyweight title challenger and No. 15-ranked bantamweight John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) takes on former WSOF champion and No. 7-ranked Marlon Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Other notables are part of the prelims, including Sage Northcutt, Angela Hill and Court McGee.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie