Poirier and Pettis engaged in a back-and-forth, bloody battle for almost three rounds until Pettis, who struggled to deal with Poirier’s pressure throughout the bout, tapped out while Poirier was transitioning from a body triangle to full mount.
It looked like Pettis may have injured his ribs during the transition, but Poirier thinks he was a broken man long before that.
“I think it was a broken man more than a broken rib,” Poirier said at the UFC Norfolk post-fight press conference, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “But that’s my thoughts, you know. I think … hopefully nothing is wrong with the guy. But I felt like the fight was slowly slipping away from him after the cut and after the takedowns, he realized I was strong and I was gonna stay on top. He couldn’t submit me.”
Poirier, who is coming off a controversial No Contest against former champ Eddie Alvarez (Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees in the second round), earned Fight of the Night honors and the top ten lightweight contender is thrilled with his performance.
“Those deep, dog fights — I love that,” Poirier said. “That’s why I fight. Those opportunities, those kind of scrambles, that’s why I get up in the morning and go for runs and push myself harder, because I love to fight. When it was happening, I was just happy that I was in that kind of fight. The crowd was going nuts every time we switched. It was a lot of fun, man.”
With perhaps the biggest win of his career to date, Poirier could soon be knocking on the door of title contention. The former featherweight contender made the switch to lightweight in 2015 and is one of the most promising contenders in the division.