UFC Fight Night 68 Preview: Dustin Poirier vs. Yancy Medeiros

Dustin PoirierUFC Fight Night 67 is barely in the books, but UFC Fight Night 68 goes down this weekend in Louisiana.  Let’s have a look at a few of the fights on the night’s card.  First up, we have a match between Dustin Poirier (17-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (11-2, 1 NC).

Poirier comes into the fight fresh off a first-round KO win over Carlos Ferreira just two months ago.  Prior to that, he was finished in the first round by Conor McGregor, but before that he had put together a three-fight win streak.  Medeiros comes in on a two fight win streak, but hasn’t fought since December 2014 when he defeated Joe Proctor by first-round submission.

The betting odds favor Poirier at -185 while Medeiros sits as the underdog at +160.  This is an accurate analysis of the situation as Poirier is the more dangerous fighter.  After losing to Conor McGregor at featherweight, Poirier moved up to lightweight for his KO win over Ferreira.  Many people thought that wasn’t a smart move for Poirier as he had a mostly successful run at featherweight – it’s rare to see a fighter move up in weight classes in the UFC unless the promotion orders them to after failing to make weight in a lower class.  Despite the skepticism, Poirier blasted through Ferreira, and now his last three wins all come by T/KO.

Medeiros is coming off back-to-back wins, but neither were at the same level of competition where Poirier has been competing.  Despite that, Medeiros is moving his way up the ladder and is evolving as a fighter – primarily a striker. He won his last two fights via submission after stunning his opponents with strikes.

Both Poirier and Medeiros are not hesitant to meet in the middle of the cage to stand and bang.  However this fight goes, it will be an excellent opportunity for the fans to see some action.  Poirier has a little bit more to lose in this fight as he still faces questions about his move to lightweight and Medeiros certainly doesn’t have the same name recognition that any of Poirier’s last few opponents have had.  Poirier has the power to end the fight on the feet and the submission skills to end it on the ground, but Medeiros is a more-than-competent striker and has been rocked less times than Poirier.

If the fight goes to the ground, it heavily favors Poirier, and after any initial feeling out period, Poirier should look to take it there.  Despite improved submissions, Medeiros faces a big deficit when it comes to the submission game – Poirier has some slick submissions and works very well from the top.  If Poirier gets Medeiros on his back, it is going to be a short night for the up and coming lightweight.

Look for Medeiros to test the range early and stay on the perimeter until he thinks he has a sense of Poirier’s time.  Poirier will try to engage early and back Medeiros up, but this is a dangerous proposition that could see Poirier taken down with a solid counter-punch as Medeiros is backing up.  Despite the potential danger, look for Poirier to come out on top – even if he is briefly stunned, he’ll be able to get Medeiros on the ground where he’ll submit him late in the first round.