UFC 164 Bet: Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (+140) vs Erik Koch (-150)

Featherweight bout: Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (+140) vs Erik “New Breed” Koch (-150) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off for the UFC 164 main card is a featherweight war between two top 10 featherweights, when American Top Team product Dustin Poirier takes on Roufosport’s Erik Koch. Poirier is currently the underdog in this bout at +140 ($100 to win $140), with the favorite Koch being -150 ($150 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. DUSTIN “THE DIAMOND” POIRIER (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will be making his eighth UFC appearance following a Unanimous Decision loss at the hands of Cub Swanson six months ago, in a Fight of the Night-caliber performance. Dustin is an over-rated striker, he is not very good on the feet; even Jonathan Brookins managed to get the better of him in the striking. While he isn’t a good striker, he is always in the gym, constantly working on learning new techniques and sharpening his skills. Regardless of how much his striking has improved since his last time out, I believe he will be at a striking disadvantage here in this match-up against fierce featherweight striker Erik Koch. Dustin Poirier is a talented grappler, as he holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His takedowns are only average, but Poirier’s game-plan should be to score takedowns on Koch and beat him up on the mat, then hopefully find a submission. If he can’t manage takedowns due to Kochs’ spectacular takedown defense, then Poirier should resort to dirty boxing against the cage. Dustin Poirier certainly is a finisher, 11 of his 13 career wins have come inside the distance; 6 by submission and 5 by TKO/KO. That said, I think his best route to victory in this bout is grinding out a Decision, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he caught Koch in a submission. ERIK “NEW BREED” KOCH (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is making his fourth appearance inside the Octagon (and first in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI.), as he comes off a TKO loss to Ricardo Lamas, which took place in Chicago, IL seven months ago. Koch had a title shot versus Jose Aldo before the Lamas bout but was forced out with an injury. The fight never took place and he faced Lamas when he regained his health, losing the match by a very gory TKO. Koch is eager to get his career back on track and set his sights back on that 145 gold. Erik Koch is a technical striker who hunts for the knockout and often finds it. He isn’t lost on the ground but always prefers to keep his fights standing; his fights rarely hit the mat due to his great takedown defense. Koch is vicious with his fists and of course his kicks. He is a calculated fighter who goes into his fights with a game plan made by his Head Coach/Striking Coach Duke Roufus. Roufus highlights Koch’s routes to knockouts, as opposed to most fighters who try to figure out ways to score points to take home Decisions. Erik Koch is not a point-fighter, he is a finisher. 10 of his 13 career victories have come by way of finish; 7 by submission and 3 by TKO/KO. Fight Breakdown: Poirier has a good chin but Koch often manages to put away fighters who are generally hard to finish, such as Francisco Rivera and Raphael Assuncao, two fighters he sent packing down to the bantamweight division. I think this will be a very exciting war between two guys who are looking to fight with all their heart and leave everything in the cage. Poirier holds a three inch reach advantage but Koch will still have the edge on the feet, and Poirier will have the edge if the fight hits the mat. More often than not, I think this fight goes the three round distance. Gabe’s Pick: Erik Koch by Split-Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28), or possibly an upset for Poirier that draws boos from the Milwaukee crowd. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Dustin Poirier +3.5 -165

Written by Gabe Killian

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