In a fight anticipated to be a collision between two ferocious warriors, Justin Gaethje showcased his relentless prowess, proving why he reigns as the baddest in the game.
At UFC 291, Gaethje unleashed a jaw-dropping head kick that floored Dustin Poirier at 1:00 of Round 2, crowning himself the second-ever BMF champion. The electrifying lightweight main event unfolded at Salt Lake City's Delta Center.
The decisive high kick was artfully masked behind a powerful punch, though Poirier managed to partially block it with his arm. Yet, Gaethje's unstoppable force shattered through the defense, sending Poirier tumbling backward. A swift follow-up punch from Gaethje further sealed the deal, prompting referee Herb Dean to gracefully wave off the battle.
The stoppage came after a tightly contested first round. Poirier, at one point, managed to stun Gaethje with a punch. However, throughout the opening five minutes, Gaethje relentlessly hammered Poirier with devastating leg kicks, perhaps planting a seed of doubt in his opponent's mind, which may have contributed to the critical mistake.
This fight wasn't the first encounter between Gaethje and Poirier. Back in April 2018, Poirier emerged victorious over Gaethje in a back-and-forth brawl. Now, over five years later, Gaethje avenges that loss, proudly wearing the BMF championship belt, previously held by Jorge Masvidal, who made a special appearance during the official announcement at UFC 291.
Following back-to-back triumphs, Gaethje boldly declared his intentions to challenge the winner of the champion clash between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira, headlining UFC 294 in October. As for Poirier, this marks his second defeat in the last three fights. A gritty competitor, UFC 291 saw him taste his third TKO defeat of his career.
In a spectacular display of skill, Gaethje's stunning head kick knockout has cemented his status as the baddest motherf*cker in the sport, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his next challenge in the Octagon.