Last Wednesday, the UFC announced its trip to Hidalgo, Texas and now, that UFC Fight Night 94 card has a serious line-up.
Monday, the UFC confirmed five fights for its Sept. 17 event at the State Farm Arena in the Mexican border town of Hidalgo, which has a population of just over 11,000, including a lightweight main event pairing of Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson. A middleweight contest between Derek Brunson and Uriah Hall will serve as the co-headliner.
Johnson was actually the first to confirm the contest via his Instagram account, posting a picture of his bout agreement for the fight shortly before the UFC announced its partial card. The 30-year-old Johnson had reeled wins over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza headed into his bout with Beneil Dariush last August at UFC Fight Night 73, but was defeated in a close, controversial split decision. Johnson returned in December, dropping a unanimous verdict to Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 17.
By contrast, Poirier has been on a hot streak. A winner of seven of his last eight fights, Poirier is unbeaten since his loss to Conor McGregor and headed to 155 pounds. The 27-year-old is 4-0 in his UFC lightweight run, with victories over Carlos Diego Ferreira, Yancy Medeiros, Joseph Duffy and Bobby Green, with only Duffy seeing the final bell agains “The Diamond”. The Johnson-Poirier contest will also be a further iteration of a Floridian MMA rivalry, with Johnson training with the Blackzilians team, and Poirier representing American Top Team.
Brunson, a winner of four in a row with three straight stoppages, was scheduled to meet Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200 on July 9, before a vision issue forced him to pull out. Hall knocked out the aforementioned Mousasi in one of 2015's most spectacular knockouts last September, but was defeated soundly on points seven weeks later by Robert Whittaker at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia.
UFC Fight Night 94's card will also feature a lightweight fight between Evan Dunham and Abel Trujillo, a bantamweight pairing of Manny Gamburyan and Alejandro Perez, as well as a 145-pound tilt pitting Sam Sicilia against Gabriel Benitez.