The fifth-ranked lightweight, Poirier bloodied Gaethje in the first round and finished him off with a flurry early in the fourth to move a step closer to a title fight. [UFC president] Dana [White], [matchmaker] Sean [Shelby], Khabib - let's f--ing go! Close fight. It only gets more hard from here.
The only down side to all this is that Poirier took a lot of punishment in order to emerge victorious, revealing backstage that he had a suspected broken arm along with a a potential knee injury and damaged eye, so it could be a while before we see him back in the Octagon. Probably not given both McGregor and Tony Ferguson are lurking and looking for a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it seemed to be a sign that Poirier is finally living up to his elite-level potential, and that's only a good thing.
As Gaethje stumbled around the cage, Poirier swarmed in to tag him with combinations before finishing him along the cage wall. With a little over three minutes left, Gaethje stunned Poirier with a punch upstairs, and as the fight went to the fence, Gaethje went on the attack. Dean jumped in at 33 seconds after Gaethje collapsed to the ground.
Dustin Poirier hobbled in on crutches after way-too-many kicks made it tough to bend his right leg.
Gaethje's loss to Poirer was named fight of the night, the second consecutive card the 29-year-old has received the honour, and the Arizona native speaks with a level of confidence that makes you believe that he nearly expects to be in "fight of the night" calibre bouts. The former World Series of Fighting champion was stopped by Eddie Alvarez last December.
Nurmagomedov, who won the vacant title at UFC 223 earlier this month by defeating Al Iaquinta, isn't expected to fight again until August or September at the earliest.
"As I thought about the possibilities this fight could take, I knew I would have to dig down deep, I knew trouble would present itself", Poirier said.
Will he get a title shot from this win?