Here is how the lightweight fight between Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje played out in the main event of UFC on FOX 29 in Glendale, Arizona.
On Saturday, April 14, the UFC touched down in Glendale, Arizona to bring fight fans UFC on FOX 29, featuring a lightweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, live from the Gila Rivera Arena.
Gaethje, an Arizona native, was looking to get back into the win column after seeing his perfect record come to an end courtesy of a third round knockout to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 in December. Prior to this setback, “The Highlight” scored a thrilling knockout victory in his UFC debut over Michael Johnson in July 2017.
Poirier, on the other hand, was looking to pick up his second straight win after finishing former WEC and UFC champion Anthony Pettis in November. Prior to this, Poirier fought Alvarez to a No Contest following an illegal knee.
With a touch of the gloves, the two lightweights immediately locked horns in the center of the Octagon. With the place already going ballistic, Gaethje planted his feet in the center as Poirier circled away to the outside. Pressing forward, Gaethje looked to corner Poirier. Evading damage, Poirier exploded forward with a barrage of strikes. Surviving, Gaethje missed with a pair of lightning quick leg kicks before dropping his opponent with a third.
Popping back up, Poirier circled away as Gaethje stalked him across the canvas. Smiling, Gaethje walked through a combination and unloaded with another thunderous leg kick. Keeping calm, Poirier continued to work Gaethje with hooks. Evading a looping left hook, Gaethje slapped in another leg kick but couldn’t avoid the straight right down the middle. With his face busted up, Gaethje refused to relent, even as Poirier turned on the pressure with a flurry of punches.
With 60 seconds left, Poirier connected with his own leg kick but immediately ate another one to his inside lead leg. With his leg swelling up, Poirier walked forward and battered Gaethje’s skull with looping combinations. FanSided scores it 10-9 Poirier.
With the crowd still firmly behind Gaethje, the two picked up right where they left off. Sticking to the center of the Octagon, Gaethje continued to look for an inside leg kick while trading glancing blows with his opponent. Pushing foreheads, both made contact with simultaneous left hooks before an inadvertent finger poked Poirier in the eye.
After a brief pause to the action, the two men shook it out and went back to war. Gaethje opened with a leg kick but Poirier responded with a straight right to his skull. With both inclined away from each other, they bit down on their mouth pieces and traded haymakers against the cage.
Looking for an opening to attack, Poirier found himself on the end of a right hook followed by yet another inside leg kick. Clinching up, Poirier looked to push Gaethje into the fence but his opponent immediately shook him off and uncorked a left jab between the eyes. With 30 seconds left, Poirier shot in for another takedown but Gaethje shoved him off and unloaded a rolling thunder as the round closed out. FanSided scores it Gaethje 10-9
With the crowd still on their feet, Gaethje and Poirier traded leg kicks. Poirier followed up with a reaching right uppercut. Missing with a standing elbow, Poirier momentarily took the fight to the canvas but Gaethje popped right back to his feet and connected an inside leg kick.
Stalking Poirier down, Gaethje rocked his opponent with a straight right. Reeling, Poirier stumbled into the fence and looked down the barrel of a gun shaped liked Gaethje’s fist. Clinching up, Gaethje worked Poirier’s body with a series of knees but couldn’t put him away. Somehow surviving, Gaethje looked to get back into the fight but couldn’t escape Gaethje’s grade of a right hand. With 30 seconds left, Gaethje once again accidentally poked Poirier in the eye.
With this being his second one, the referee took a point away from Gaethje as the ringside doctor checked on Poirier.
After being cleared to continue, Poirier closed out the round with his own accidental eye-poke as time expired. FanSided scores it 9-9 Gaethje.
Even with both of their eyes swelling up, the two fighters refused to take their feet off the gas. Connecting with a right uppercut, Poirier wobbled Gaethje. With his opponent reeling, Poirier swarmed in for the kill and uncorked a buzzsaw of strikes to Gaethje’s skull.
After seeing enough damage, the referee stepped in and peeled Poirier off his opponent as Gaethje slumped forward.
OFFICIAL SCORECARD: Dustin Poirier def. Justin Gaethje via TKO (strikes), Round 4, 0:33.