Dustin Poirier is calling his shot after an epic win.
In Saturday’s UFC on FOX 29 main event, fellow Lightweight contenders Dustin Poirier andJustin Gaethje put on an instant classic, which ended at the beginning of round 4 in Poirier’s favor.
Going into the fight, their relative advantages were known. Poirier has cleaner hands and boxing, arguably better footwork. Gaethje has a mean leg kick, signature inside style, and famous durability. Poirier styled himself as the matador looking to finesse the bull of Gaethje.
For the majority of the fight, however, the bull appeared to be winning. His leg kicks visibly hurt Poirier on multiple occasions. His pressure also jammed the boxing of Poirier, crowding his hands and preventing them from landing with full power on Gaethje’s guard.
The fight was sullied by eye pokes at several occasions, but seemed to be heading in Gaethje’s direction. Then, at the beginning of round four, Poirier landed a flush left-had counter to Gaethje’s famous leg kick, and swarmed in for the finish.
Poirier is now tantalizingly close to a title shot. Newly crowned champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has declared a strong desire to defend his title later in the year. The top two obvious candidates would be Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor. However, Ferguson is recovering from a torn LCL, and McGregor’s desire to fight is uncertain. This all puts Poirier in prime position.
Poirier has also been campaigning for a rematch with former champion Eddie Alvarez. Their first fight ended when Alvarez landed illegal knees, and animosity has since grown between the two. Today on the MMA Hour Poirier says that Alvarez has since turned down fights with him, but that he would still be willing to accept the Alvarez fight as a last stepping-stone to the title.
“If I do not get the title shot next, it’s going to be Eddie.”
Check out the fight highlights in the video below.