As advertised, Louisiana’s Dustin Poirier and hometown favorite Justin Gaethje’s delivered a fight of the year candidate in the main event of UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale last night.
Gaethje’s gameplan in this, his third bout with the UFC, was his usual one — deliver soul crushing leg kicks (50 out of 116 of his strikes were to the leg) and try to take off his opponent’s head. Unfortunately for him, Poirier, like his previous opponent Eddie Alvarez, would survive what others outside of the UFC could not.
Not only would Poirier fight through Gaethje’s best shots, he’d deliver 174 significant strikes of his own (142 would land to the head of Gaethje) with the most important one coming on the end of a Gaethje leg kick early in the 4th round. In the end, Gaethje’s biggest weapon would lead to his demise.
After the fight came to its conclusion, Poirier would call out current UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov before limping out of the cage.
With a 1-2 record since joining the UFC as an immediate title contender with a perfect 18-0 record, Gaethje has more than met his match in the shark tank that is the UFC 155 lbs division. The NCAA Division I All-American is clearly way too in love with his striking to use his wrestling when in trouble which will likely lead to his career ending far earlier then it should. Enjoy him while he’s still kicking folks.
The extra $50 grand each time out simply isn’t big enough of a reward for a guy who puts on fights like Gaethje does each time he enters the Octagon. One can only hope that his employers will give him some kind of lifetime gig when he does decide to call it a day.
stats via FightMetric
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