Eddie Alvarez breaks down the upcoming UFC on FOX main event between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
On April 14th, lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier will square off in the highly anticipated UFC on FOX 29 main event. They share a common opponent in former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez, who recently handed Gaethje his first professional loss, and preceding that went to a no-contest vs. Poirier.
Alvarez was in serious danger of being stopped by Poirier in round two, only to turn things around and put Poirier under pressure. An illegal knee while Poirier was downed ended the fight, hence the NC, and no rematch materialized. Alvarez is of the opinion that Poirier “wanted out.” In an interview with MMAjunkie, Alvarez brought up what he views as a major difference between Poirier and Gaethje.
“I think it’s no question that Dustin Poirier is a more skilled fighter than Justin Gaethje,” Alvarez said. “That’s safe to say. I think everybody in this room would agree with that, skill-wise. But Justin has the intangibles. And, at no time in the ring, when I was beating Justin, no matter how hard I was hitting him, did I feel like he was accepting defeat. Not at any point.”
Alvarez finished Gaethje in the final minute of a dramatic third round, which Gaethje was clearly winning (but needed to get a stoppage in order to win) up until Alvarez knocked him out with a knee. Gaethje is known for his remarkable ability to absorb punishment, and Alvarez sees Justin’s will and toughness as a key reason why Poirier won’t be able to stop the ex-WSOF lightweight king.
“I feel like there was a point [during the Poirier fight] when I felt that he accepted defeat and he wanted to be out of the fight,” Alvarez continued. “Justin didn’t. And I beat Justin worse. So I have to give the edge to Justin in that respect, because I don’t feel like Dustin Poirier is going to be able to finish him. He’s going to have to fight him for the whole fight.”
While Poirier and Gaethje is just two weeks away, Alvarez does not have a fight booked, as the top of the lightweight division sorts itself out with an incredibly busy April.