A new contender in the lightweight division has risen out of the madness that occurred at UFC on FOX 29 where Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and Justin Gaethje put on a fight that is sure to be on many Fight of the Year lists. In fact, all three of Justin Gaethje’s fights in the UFC have been Fight of the Year contenders so far.
Gaethje is a man who comes to fight and tends to bring out the best in his opponents because of his unique style of fighting. As such, fans and fellow mixed martial artists reacted with great interest to Poirier’s astounding victory over Gaethje, who is renowned for his brawling ability and grit inside the cage.
The first three rounds of the bout saw both men letting loose with venom and furious speed. Gaethje would focus on chopping down Poirier’s legs while constantly being fed back heavy shots from his opponent who was focused on closing the distance and setting up combinations. Gaethje began the fight landing a number of kicks that would force Poirier to switch stances by the second round.
The two men seemed intent on throwing volume combinations and it looked as though the octagon had become the epicentre of a whirlwind. Gaethje would manage to land some extremely hard shots on his opponent in the third round but would have a point docked by referee Herb Dean after eye poking Poirier for the second time in the bout.
Looking extremely worse for wear, Poirier bit down on his mouthpiece and stepped forward into the third frame, landing some massive shots on Gaethje to finally wobble the notoriously tough to finish twenty-nine-year-old.
Gaethje’s nickname, “The Highlight”, is fitting when you consider that he will always endeavour to finish a fight in the most violent way possible or will happily go out on his shield trying. Stumbling back toward the fence, Gaethje would try to survive the onslaught of output from Poirier who had smelled blood in the water and was circling for the kill. In the end, the referee had no other option than to call off the fight, saving Gaethje from any more damage.
Poirier now moves forward having won seven of his last eight fights, outside of a no-contest with Eddie Alvarez back at UFC 211 in May of 2017.
Poirier’s claim for a title shot is now becoming undeniable, given that he now has a win over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, was doing well in his fight against Eddie Alvarez before the bout was stopped due to an illegal knee from Alvarez and now he takes home the scalp of the former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje. He called out UFC president Dana White, matchmaker Sean Shelby and newly minted lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in his post fight interview, demanding a title shot that at this point is surely not far out of reach.
Check out the reactions from the mixed martial arts community to Poirier’s come back against Gaethje below and let us know what you think!
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) April 15, 2018
— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) April 15, 2018
Fuck Awesome @DustinPoirier congrats
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) April 15, 2018
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) April 15, 2018
These are the kinda fights that make me rethink my career choice #UFCGlendale
— Louis Smolka (@LASTSAMURAIUFC) April 15, 2018
Holy shit what a fight. Serious heart by Porier. He's not going to be walking well for a month but it will hurt a little less now #ufc
— Chris Camozzi (@ChrisCamozzi) April 15, 2018
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) April 15, 2018
Fuck. Yes! Way to go @DustinPoirier!
— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) April 15, 2018
The body can only take so much
— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) April 15, 2018
What a fight ! #UFCGledale great finish !!!
— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) April 15, 2018
What a fight!! Dustin Poirier was getting behind on the momentum and he finds a home for a left hand that starts the beginning of the end for Gaethje. Two warriors!! 155 is stacked!! #UFCGlendale
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) April 15, 2018
— Kyle Bochniak UFC (@KyleBochniak) April 15, 2018
What a fight!! Bombs the whole time! Congrats!!! @DustinPoirier
— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) April 15, 2018
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) April 15, 2018
And one more from MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, who we think summed it up perfectly:
Freaking hell. Dustin Poirier is incredible. He wins via TKO in the 4th. Fine stoppage. No doubt a FOY contender.
That, that was violent.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 15, 2018