UFC on FOX: Under The Radar

Dustin Poirier

Shining a light on Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza

I suppose you could say that, with the exception of the Fox-televised main event, all of the fights on tonight’s UFC on Fox card are flying under the radar.

After all, the entire card – again, with the exception of the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos bout – is only available for viewing on Facebook and FoxSports.com. Yes, you’ll need a solid internet connection and the patience to spend several hours in front of a computer if you want to take in the full fight card.

With that in mind, we’ve got plenty of options to choose from for this UFC on FOX edition of Under the Radar.

The obvious choice is the lightweight battle between Ben Henderson and Clay Guida. It’s a fight that will determine the next challenger for Frankie Edgar’s championship, and it could very well prove to be the fight of the night when all is said and done. It’s a fight that would feel right at home as a featured attraction on a pay per view event, and yet we’re relegated to the digital domain if we want to see it play out.

But the obvious choice isn’t always the best one. Every single fight fan in the world is aware of Henderson vs. Guida, which means that despite it’s unfortunate placement as preliminary, it’s not exactly flying under the radar.

With that in mind, we’ll select a different fight that you absolutely should be paying attention to. Trust me when I say that this fight is worth an aching back from your office chair and sore eyes from staring at your laptop screen.

UNDER THE RADAR: DUSTIN POIRIER (10-1) VS. PABLO GARZA (11-1)

Dustin Poirier made a splash in his UFC debut when he dominated Josh Grispi back at UFC 125. Grispi, if you’ll recall, was supposed to challenge featherweight champion Jose Aldo on the same card, but an injury forced the champ to withdraw from the fight. Grispi wasn’t lacking for hype going into the fight and the unknown Poirier was expected to serve as a warm-up for Grispi’s eventual bout with Aldo. Things didn’t quite turn out that way. With the win, Poirier’s star began to rise, while Grispi faltered. A win over Jason Young at UFC 131 gave Poirier an undefeated UFC record, and plenty of pundits began discussing his name in the same breath as other potential opponents for Aldo.

Pablo Garza isn’t the most well-known export from Fargo, North Dakota, but he’s certainly making a name for himself since debuting in the UFC with vicious knockout win over Fredson Paixao. Garza originally tried to secure entry into the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter but lost before making it into the house. His big chance with Zuffa came at WEC 51, when he served as a late replacement opponent for Zhang Tie Quan. Garza lost the fight but impressed UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby enough to earn a spot on the UFC 129 card in Toronto, where he scored a flying triangle submission over Yves Jabouin.

Poirier vs. Garza is a fight tailor-made for violence. The weakest aspect of Garza’s game is his stand-up, and that just so happens to be Poirier’s strongest suit. Garza must get Poirier to the ground at all costs or risk losing in violent fashion. Poirier hits harder than just about any other fighter in the bantamweight division, and Garza will need to avoid that aspect of the Louisiana native’s game at all costs.

Poirier, ever the showman, is out to make a statement after putting on a lackluster performance against Young his last time out. Look for him to mix together nasty combinations of strikes and end this one with a violent knockout.

You won’t want to miss this one, and you won’t want to blink.


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