UFC on FOX 29 provided plenty of action, and the main event capped it off with a war between the fifth and sixth ranked lightweights. Dustin Poirier was the favorite in Vegas coming into the fight, but Justin Gaethje is one of the most popular and exciting fighters in the entire UFC and many fans and commentators picked him to get the win.
The first round leaned towards Poirier, who threw and landed more punches and forced Gaethje to sit in his guard for extended periods without throwing counter punches. Gaethje went to his usual strategy of wearing down his opponents with leg kicks, however, and he did early damage to Poirier’s leg that would become a factor later in the fight. The second round went more in the favor of Gaethje as Poirier already grew tired compared to the first round.
Poirier started to recover in the third round, however, and an eye poke from Gaethje stopped the fight and caused him to lose a point, after already being warned to keep his fingers away from his opponent’s eyes. The third round ended soon after the fight started again, to the sound of boos from a crowd that largely sided with Gaehje on the matter.
The fourth round started with Poirier unloading on Gaethje and landing a combination of punches that forced Gaethje to stay up against the fence, before chasing him down and pouring on more blows until Herb Dean was forced to end the fight. The combination started with a counter left hand that stunned Gaethje, staggering him long enough to put together the rest of the finishing combination.
After praising his opponent, Poirier called out new lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in his post fight interview. It’s expected that he’ll get a rematch with Eddie Alvarez next, but after the impressive win on a highly visible card, it’s possible that he’ll jump into the title conversation immediately. Poirier’s record improves to 23-5 with one no-contest, while Gaethje will drop to 18-2 after his second straight loss in three total UFC fights.
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