"I just stayed tough and believed in myself, got it done".
Dustin Poirier might just get his wish to face lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in his next fight. With a little over three minutes left, Gaethje stunned Poirier with a punch upstairs, and as the fight went to the fence, Gaethje went on the attack. My goal is to prosper and be a world champion and make money and retire and say, 'I did it'.
His victory over "The Highlight" wasn't flawless, as he absorbed a ton of damage in the form of Gaethje's lethal inside leg kicks, a seemingly endless stream of which seemed to find their mark on Poirier's right leg.
He's a true warrior in every sense of the word and if we're being honest, a genuine crazy-man in the octagon but with time well and truly ticking on his career, enjoy fighters like Justin Gaethje while you can. But the momentum appeared to change late in the round when Gaethje, who was warned one round earlier, was deducted a point by referee Herb Dean for poking Poirier in the eye.
Poirier wisely refused to let Gaethje draw him into a brawl, his volume putting him ahead on the scorecards heading into the third.
Seconds into round four, a left hand from Poirier drilled Gaethje and hurt him, and "The Diamond" emptied his tank trying to finish. Dean jumped in at 33 seconds after Gaethje collapsed to the ground. "This guy has absolutely no quit, and I respect that 100 percent".
It was the 29-year-old's 20th fight in the UFC, but he is yet to have a chance to challenge for a title.
His initial win streak of 4 fights - which included a win over Max Holloway - was stopped by Chan Sung Jung, and two subsequent winning streaks were snapped by Conor McGregor and Michael Johnson.
What remains unsure, however, is whether Poirier will get his wish for an instant title shot. The former featherweight contender feels reborn in his return to 155 pounds and has added plenty of poise and polish to his exciting style.
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