Dustin Poirier at UFC NORFOLK – ” This is what i live for (fighting) the talking, the calling people out, the acting crazy that’s not what I do. If i have to fight a few more fights coz i’m not talking shit…then that’s what i’ll do “
Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis delivered a savage and engrossing main event at UFC Norfolk last night. The ref finally called an end to hostilities in round 3 and Dustin Poirier emerged the deserved winner via a TKO on the ground.
Poirier isn’t one for shit talking or calling out opponents in an aggressive manner. Here at UFC Norfolk he acknowledged as much in his post fight interview in the Octagon. However he wants to fight the winner of Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje. After that he feels he will have paid his dues in the division and be in line for a title shot for the UFC Lightweight belt.
He has unfinished business with Alvarez so i would imagine that would be his preferred match up. If he does win that, I have to say, he will probably be deserving of a title shot.
Make no mistake though Pettis was a big part of this headliner at UFC Norfolk. During parts of rounds 2 and 3 his face, nose and head were streaming blood. His vision was severely impaired but he kept not only fighting but looking to execute moves to win from the ground. At times the blood on both fighters was streaming so freely that they were having difficulty maintaining a grip on each other. It was fascinating to watch them slip, slide and slither on the ground as momentum swung one way and then the other.
Poirier’s superior striking and his ability to execute clean takedown’s in each of the 3 rounds was impressive. He caused extensive damaged to Pettis’s face both in the stand up and on the ground. At the end of the fight i think technically it was a rib damage that finally put him out of the contest.
Poirier while having a solid ground game is still very prone to losing dominant positions from on top. Pettis escaped a number of times from these and almost immediately established position himself while being practically blind from the blood streaming into his eyes.
The Finish by Dustin Poirier was a little messy but there is no doubt the ref was correct as it looked to me that Anthony Pettis’s body had just shut down at that point.
I have to say that when Poirier first moved up to Lightweight i was rather skeptical of the results he might achieve there. However after his last fight with Alvarez that was ruled a no contest and this one against Anthony Pettis I am starting to come around to the idea.
This win catapults him very close to the top 3 in the division however i think Tony Ferguson, Conor Mcgregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov are cut above the everyone else still and by a wide margin.
The UFC will be delighted that UFC NORFOLK delivered and backed up the great gains made at UFC217. It will also get the focus back onto fighting after the shenanigans of Conor Mcgregor at Bellator 187 last night.
What now for Anthony Pettis? That is a really a something he needs to now have long hard think about. Regardless of the loss he took a savage amount of damage last night. His last successful defence of the UFC lightweight title was against Gilbert Melendez in 2014. Since that night he has lost 5 of his 7 fights in the UFC and last night at UFC Norfolk the severity of the damage he is taking seems to have gone up a notch.
While Pettis is still relatively young at 30 he risks becoming a guy that younger guys start using as stepping stone to catapult them up the division. He could i suppose transition back down to the UFC featherweight division but realistically cutting that extra 10 pounds is going to be very tough on him. This was evidenced in the Holloway fight where he was fighting for the Interim featherweight title and just couldn’t get down to it. The fight ended up at a catchweight of 148 and he still lost.
At the very least i hope he decides to take an extended break from the UFC while he weighs up his options and recovers from this fight.