Dustin “the Diamond” Poirier and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis met in a high-level lightweight clash tonight (Sat., Nov. 11, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 120 inside Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., airing live on FOX Sports 1. Poirier’s last bout was a no-contest against Eddie Alvarez, with Alvarez landing illegal knees that stopped short what was turning into an instant classic. Pettis, meanwhile, had gotten his career back on track with a decision win over Jim Miller. The former lightweight champion, “Showtime” had fallen far from grace, he was looking to get some momentum back. Poirier, meanwhile, looked to finally establish himself as a title contender after a long and storied career at both featherweight and lightweight.
Pettis opened with a front kick, then an inside low kick as Poirier came out in southpaw. Poirier moved forward, missing on big hooks. Pettis feinted into space and threw a flying knee and a straight that connected. Poirier drove forward and shot, putting Pettis on his back against the cage. His underrated wrestling would be an important weapon against a dynamic striker like Pettis. Anthony tied up his head and attempted to keep position against the cage. Pettis looked for a kimura off his back, but Poirier put his shoulder down into Pettis and got the former champion flat on the canvas. He postured and landed some nice elbows. Pettis kicked him off and then swept him. Poirier got back up and separated in a high-paced grappling exchange. They exchanged, each eating leather in the pocket. Poirier drove for another takedown but got shucked off, Pettis pressing him against the cage. Pettis tried a leaping knee and Poirier tagged him midair. Poirier stalked and landed a hard combination. Pettis spun for a backfist, but Poirier pressed forward, landing hard shots. Pettis swung back, landing an uppercut, and they brawled to the finish! What a round. Poirier was really going after him at the end.
Round two began with Pettis stalking and Poirier circling. Pettis landed a left straight. Poirier drove in for a single-leg, putting Pettis on the cage. He picked Pettis up and slammed him down. Pettis tried throwing his legs up for a triangle choke. Poirier used that as an opportunity to move into side control, landing hard elbows. Pettis gave up his back, his face a mask of blood. Poirier got the bodylock, but Pettis got his trademark reversal into Poirier’s guard! Pettis landed some hard elbows, Poirier looking to get back up. Pettis almost took his back in return but Poirier slung him over his shoulder and got top position again. Both fighters were slick with blood. Pettis gave up his back again and again, reversed it. Poirier tried to get back up and now Pettis got his back. Poirier got top position and the referee finally called time to clear away the blood soaking Pettis’ eyes. Holy shit, this was already a classic. Poirier bounced in his corner, ready to continue. The doctors took their time, as Pettis was cut all over. They finally restarted, with Pettis resuming on his back. Poirier postured, looking for hard elbows. Pettis kept locking up a triangle choke, and it looked really tight for a second but Poirier slipped out. As the round wore down Poirier rained hammerfists on a turtled Pettis.
Poirier came out for the third looking for a long jab. He blocked a Pettis roundhouse kick, threw a combination, and shot in again. Pettis looked for a kimura, but Poirier stayed on top. Pettis got up for a moment and tried to roll, but gave up his back again. Pettis looked for his trademark reversal. Poirier looked for a rear-naked choke, then moved into mount as Pettis tried to spin out again. Bizarrely, the fight came to an instant end! Pettis tapped, not clear exactly to what. Poirier’s bodylock appeared to injure him, possibly in his ribs. Poirier immediately said through the cage he wants the Gaethje-Alvarez winner. What an incredible fight; what an incredible win for Poirier. Despite the bizarre ending, his second weird ending in a row, he puts himself in a great position at lightweight with this win.
Poirier says in the post-fight interview that he felt Pettis breaking, said he didn’t want to be in the fight any more. He said that’s what he does; “I’m a nasty guy. This is what I live for.” He said he’s not asking, he’s telling us that his next fight will be against the winner of Eddie Alvarez-Justin Gaethje, then he will fight for the belt. That’s a great callout; Poirier seemingly doesn’t know how to have a boring fight, and neither do Alvarez or Gaethje.
Official result: Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (injury) at 2:08 of round 3
For complete Fight Night 120 results, including play-by-play, click here