I was a bit hard on former champ Anthony Pettis in the lead-up to this UFC Fight Night 120 main event match-up against Dustin Poirier. After all, Pettis has been a shadow of his old self in recent years, and aside from a few stumbles against the elite, Poirier has gradually been getting sharper and sharper. But when these guys threw down, they threw down, and there were moments when Pettis was looking every bit the stud he was when he took the UFC belt.
Round 1 opened with Pettis flicking out his kicks and Poirier throwing hands, and the contrast in styles – Pettis has always been flashy, Poirier has always been tight and technical – was apparent. But when Poirier took him down against the cage, Pettis immediately threatened with a guillotine, then a kimura, and then a sweep that put Poirier on his back. Returning to the feet, the duo spent the waning seconds of the frame duking it out with near-reckless abandon.
Poirier took him down again in the second, and had to repeatedly fight off triangle choke attempts while working his ground and pound. Pettis was soon bloody, and subsequent scrambles had them ridiculously slippery from the gore. The cut was bad, but the doctor let them continue, and Poirier and Pettis resume destroying each other.
Another takedown in Round 3 had Poirier scrambling to Pettis’ back and slipping on a body triangle, and when they scrambled some more and Poirier worked into mount, Pettis tapped. The body triangle had injured his ribs.
Despite the injury stoppage, it was a great fight, and a great showing by both men.
Results: Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (Injury) at 2:08, R3