The UFC’s machine keeps on rolling on Saturday night, as the promotion’s coronavirus-mandated Las Vegas residency continues with UFC on ESPN 12 at the UFC Apex.

If you’ve been picking and choosing your events since the UFC’s reboot, this one features a main event you don’t want to miss. The lightweight main event of Dustin Poirier, who has been in “Fight of the Year”-level battles, and Dan Hooker, who is coming off a “FOTY” candidate in his last bout, is about as much a lock to deliver action as any bout which could be put together. 

Throw in several other intriguing storylines along the way, and UFC on ESPN 12 is looking like one of the better cards the promotion has pieced together as COVID-19 continues to present logistical challenges. 

UFC on ESPN 12 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

Without further ado, then, here are five burning questions leading into UFC on ESPN 12.

Can Dustin Poirier put together another big run?

Sep 7, 2019; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) reacts against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 242 at The Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no shame in losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Twenty-eight times, opponents have tried, and 28 times, opponents have failed. Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC) put in a spirited effort at UFC 242 before he, a former interim lightweight champion, lost to the current titleholder in Abu Dhabi.

The loss to Nurmagomedov marked the end of an incredible run by Poirier, in which he earned victories over four fighters who held six major titles: Anthony Pettis (UFC and WEC), Justin Gaethje (WSOF), Eddie Alvarez (UFC and Bellator), and Max Holloway (UFC). He also picked up three “Fight of the Night” and one “Performance of the Night” award along the way.

The big questions going forward: Does Poirier have another run in him? Can he continue to produce at the high caliber for which his fights are one all true fans tune in to see? He’s only 31, but he’s got some mileage at this stage, with 11 years as a pro and 31 fights under his belt.

We’re guessing that if anyone has the mental mettle to regroup and make another run, it’s Poirier. Hooker is in the spot Poirier was in not all that long ago, in need of another big win or two to get over the hump. Saturday should provide a solid answer on whether “The Diamond” will continue to shine.