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MMA Labology Breakdown: Oliviera vs. Poirier

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Charlies Oliviera vs. Dustin Poirier

I mean, let’s be real. Can we really ask for a more exciting matchup? This fight is so good on every level that you can make 100 arguments for either fighter to win. With that said, we are going to take a much closer look at both of these combatants under a microscope and see if we can get on the right side of it. 

This one is not as cut and dry as many may think, so the dives I did were a bit different this time. I took at their landscapes, momentum shifts, matchups, strengths, weaknesses, and even from a logistical business standpoint on what would happen beyond the fight for both men that would actually make the most sense money-wise for the company. Some would say, “Mike, that’s getting a little ahead of yourself, no?” My answer to that would be, “Absolutely not.” All businesses are always thinking ahead. You are aligning your shots in conjunction with your next shot. The storylines are meant to continue to roll on and in order to build a storyline, you need history and you need future broadcasting. 

The biggest mistake that people make when analyzing fights is that they don’t understand that matchmakers have a job. Their job isn’t only to book good fights, but also to build up storylines, build on their prospects, and also trim the fat with matchups that will give them the justification to do just that. This is fighting but at the end of the day, this is also entertainment. They don’t care about the fighters, they care about what the fans want to see and what is ultimately going to make them the most money. Why do you think it is that certain fighters stay under contract despite Dana White loathing them? It’s because they are draws and they make money for the company. At the end of the day, it’s all about the money. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the two men involved in the evening’s main event. 
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Dustin Poirier

To be quite honest, it took me a little while to warm up to Poirier. I always thought that he was a very good fighter, but I was never a huge fan until about two years ago. The Louisiana native comes in boasting a record of 28-6. With 14 wins by way of KO and 7 wins by submission, he is finishing fights at a 75% clip in his wins, which is very impressive given the fighters he’s faced. After a successful career on the regional scene, Poirier debuted with high hopes in the UFC on New Year’s day in UFC 125 back in 2011. After assembling an 8-2 record under the banner, Pourier would have a showdown with another highly regarded prospect, Connor McGregor. Pourier was knocked out in the first round, sending the two fighters on vastly different career trajectories. 

Even though McGregor would land in the lap of superstardom, Poirier stayed the course and started to add onto his tool belt. He won an interim title fight against Max Holloway before being defeated by Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirer finally faced McGregor again this past January and won by becoming the first fighter to ever knock McGregor out. The Irishman lost their third bout in July when Poirer broke his leg. 

Poirier is cut from a different cloth. There are few people that have what he has wired into him. Poirier thrives in calculated chaos. Obviously, anyone will fight well when they have everything rolling their way, but when the storm hits, some will shelter from the storm, while others will look to walk into its heart. Poirier does his best work when the storm is directly over him and that is what carried him through many of his more recent fights. With pinpoint accuracy, combustion of perfect combinations, power, speed, and an overall understanding of when, where, and how to pull the trigger are some of his greatest attributes. On top of his striking, Poirier has a well-versed grappling game with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He will need that and everything else he can muster up against a surging and dangerous Charles Oliveria.

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Charles Oliviera

Oliviera is a perfect example of how patience allows your potential to blossom in its own time. Always dangerous, Oliviera has become one of the most dangerous submission threats in MMA. A third-degree black belt in BJJ, he has 31 wins – 19 by way of submission and 9 by way of KO. His finishing upside is extremely high as well. For a long time, Oliviera was heavily reliant on his submission game and used his striking as a way to get the fight where he wanted it to be – on the ground. Now on a nine-fight winning streak, it seems that he is not just catching stride, but catching fire. Oliviera has looked borderline unbeatable in his nine-fight run. It seems as if everything is falling into place for him. 

With that said, there is one glaring issue here. Oliviera has seemed to suddenly run out of steam at inopportune times in the past. Obviously, that hasn’t been a problem during his recent run of success, but it’s something to be mindful of – especially when Oliviera will be sharing the octagon with a fighter as dangerous as Poirier. There is no doubt that Oliviera is a tremendous threat to anyone, especially if he gets this fight to the ground. But if Poirier puts him on skates, he will unload and finish the job. 

I am expecting a highly competitive fight and that we will be on the edge of our seats for the majority of it. Oliviera will look to push the pace, close the space, and put his opponent on the ground in hope that Pourier will give up his back while trying to get back on his feet. With that said – despite how likely that scenario is – I think that Poirier survives and shows why he’s the better fighter. 

The Pick: Dustin Poirier via KO

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DFS Breakdown

Dustin Poirier ($8,600)

100+ Points: 8 of 10
Current Market Value: 8 of 10

Predicted Win Percentage: 60
Hedge: 6

There is no doubt that this is a dangerous fight. However, Poirier thrives in calculated chaos and I am not certain that Oliviera can play at the same level as him. Hitting both markers at an 80% clip is extremely hard to ignore. I think the upside for a late KO is there. 

Charles Oliviera ($7,600)

100+ Points: 3 of 10
Current Market Value: 8 of 10

Predicted Win Percentage: 40
Hedge: 4

At $7,600. how do you not look at Oliviera as a serious nugget in your lineups? You have to. It’s not even a question. Five rounds, finishing upside, and momentum are all in his favor. On top of all that, he is hitting his current market value at an 80% clip. It all seems right, but I am picking against him here. At the end of the day, I’m too worried about those sudden blowouts in his history and the potential for Poirier to make another one happen. With that said? You can’t overlook him here.

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