Since losing to Conor McGregor at 145lb back at UFC 178, Dustin Poirier has been on an absolute tear in the 155lb lightweight division. The Louisiana native has KO’d three of his last four opponents and won a unanimous decision over Joseph Duffy at UFC 195, in what was an outstandingly gritty performance over the Irish rising star.
The UFC betting odds for his 155lb fight with Michael Johnson suggest that Poirier is the favourite, at 4/6 with Coral, but Johnson is a very dangerous opponent and he is the slight 6/5 underdog for the UFC Fight Night 94 main event, with Betfred poking their head up with a top price of 6/4.
Michael Johnson has lost his last two fights in the UFC, the last a UD loss to one Nate Diaz last September. That performance from Diaz was the catalyst in his latest resurgence which has seen him compete in two classic superfights with Conor McGregor.
Johnson has a list of impressive big name victories on his UFC resume, including Danny Castillo, Tony Ferguson, Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau and Edson Barboza. So despite an inconsistent overall profile, there is little question he is a legitimate Top 10 performer. His decision to have nine months off could prove fruitful too, far too often we see fighters return to the octagon after a heavy loss and they’re not the same. On the flip side we’ve seen countless examples of the benefits of good old-fashioned time off.
This is a difficult fight to call between two similarly matched opponents. Both are excellent stand-up artists and are accomplished grapplers. Essentially, the main event has all the hallmarks of a dog fight and with both looking to catapult themselves into the title shot picture, there is a chance this could go into the later rounds.
William Hill is offering 4/11 Evan Dunham and 8/13 Derek Brunson on the two preceding fights on the main card, which amounts to a decent 6/5 double to warm you up for the feature fight.