Poirier vs Gaethje Live™ Stream™ Watch™ UFC Fight Night® Online Free: preview, results, start time, discussion, play by play, updates for today’s UFC on FOX 29 event in Arizona, which features a highly anticipated lightweight showdown between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
The UFC lightweight division could a make as the most exciting in the promotion, and just one week after a new undisputed champion was crowned in Khabib Nurmagomedov, two top-10 competitors will take on one another to see who can inch closer towards a potential title shot down the road. In the main event of UFC on Fox 29 on Saturday, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will take center stage in what has the makings to be one of the best fights of the year.
Poirier (22-5, 1 NC) is the No. 5-ranked contender in the division, and is looking to build off his last victory, a third-round TKO win over Anthony Pettis last November at UFC Fight Night 120. Gaethje (18-1), the sixth-ranked lightweight fighter, is looking to get himself back into the win column with a victory over Poirier on Saturday. Following his Fight of the Year performance over Michael Johnson on The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale, the 29-year-old suffered the first loss of his career when he was defeated via third-round TKO by former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218.
Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
Below is all the information you need to catch Poirier vs. Gaethje and the rest of the UFC on Fox 29 main card.
UFC on Fox 29 viewing information
Date: Saturday, April 14
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Channel: Fox (check local listings)
UFC on Fox 29 main card, odds
UFC commentator and analyst Dan Hardy looks ahead to this weekend’s event in Glendale, Arizona, as two exciting lightweights meet in a potential title shot eliminator.
After a great weekend of fights at UFC 223, a new lightweight champion has been crowned, giving this weekend’s headlining fighters a clear target. Perennial top contender, Dustin Poirier, prepares to take on one of the most aggressive and durable fighters in the division. Nipping at Poirier’s heels, Justin Gaethje sits right below him in the rankings and plans on mowing the fifth ranked Poirier down in order to take his spot. Gaethje has been referred to many times as the ‘Human Highlight Reel’ – and for good reason. His style of fighting has one speed setting and his willingness to eat punches in order to wear his foe down is what makes him such a draw for the fans.
Gaethje stormed through the competition outside of the UFC, delivering him to the Octagon as a highly respected contender, with an undefeated record of 17 victories and no defeats. In his UFC debut he was matched up with Michael Johnson, a fast southpaw striker with a good wrestling background. The ideal litmus test for a new signee to the roster, Johnson would see if that forward pressure could be maintained at UFC level. In a fight that almost made it to the end of the second round, Gaethje only outstruck Johnson by 13 shots but the tenacity of the undefeated debutant broke him.
It was the kind of performance that electrified the fans and got the media world talking about future top 10 match-ups. It also won ‘Fight of the Night’, ‘Performance of the Night’ and 2017’s ‘Fight of the Year’. In his next outing Gaethje would put on a very similar performance, this time against former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. His forward pressure was still too much to handle and Alvarez looked a real mess after the fight. Cheek swollen badly, eyes closing and nose bloodied, Alvarez stuck to his game plan and was able to catch Gaethje clean with a minute left in the fight.
What I find most exciting about this is that Justin talked openly during his impressive 18-0 streak about how he knew that one day he would be on the receiving end of a knockout finish. His style puts him in harm’s way for the whole fight and, due to his aggression, opponents can bank on him pushing forward, allowing them to try and set him up. Often when a fighter has made it so far into their career that their unbeaten record becomes a regular narrative in all of the pre-fight build up, it can add a lot of pressure. Protecting that zero in the loss column becomes more of a focus than the performance itself.
Fortunately Gaethje has never fallen victim to that pressure and has always displayed a reckless aggression and willingness to brawl for a finish. So what does a first loss do to a fighter like that? I’d imagine it will make him more determined, which is a scary thing when they are already as driven as Gaethje. The second thing to consider is how that loss affects him during training camp. He’ll be more motivated to learn and improve, more effort will be given in conditioning sessions and he’ll be under less pressure, knowing that the unbeaten record is no longer a storyline.
This will be Gaethje’s first outing in the new year. He has had four long months to dwell upon that December fight, at UFC 218, where his meat-grinder approach didn’t pay off. His opportunity to get back in the win column won’t be an easy one though. Dustin Poirier has been a top contender for a long, long time, keeping his name relevant in the rankings since his debut back in 2011. This will be his 20th walk to the Octagon and all of that experience has clearly made him much wiser at this stage in his career. Since the birth of his daughter he has been more conscious about the way that he fights, which I think will lead to better decision-making against Gaethje.
Usually very similar to Gaethje in his approach, Poirier likes to fight in a phone box and pour pressure on his opponent with fast boxing combinations and top game wrestling. An American Top Team representative, Poirier has found a consistency in his training that allows him to tweak and tailor his preparations better than most. He has a core team of experts and coaches around him that are all very aware of Dustin’s capabilities and potential. He’s been able to make it almost 30 fights into his career with a healthy body and he is able to carry a great deal of fight experience into his prime.
Still many months off his 30th birthday, Poirier has the mind of a veteran and the physicality of a prospect. He will need both against Gaethje this weekend, who will make up for any technical deficit with reckless aggression. I expect Poirier to use his superior footwork and boxing skills to try and snipe at Gaethje on the way in. Staying off the fence will be a major priority but Poirier has good defensive, as well as offensive, wrestling. He may even feel confident to turn the wrestling offensive on Justin, depending on how the boxing range is working out.
Either way this fight is going to be one of those that people will be talking about into next week. The winner is within one fight of a title shot in a highly competitive division, with the landscape able to shift in your favour in a second. Look at last weekend’s card where Al Iaquinta went from the main card opener, against Paul Felder, to a main event for the lightweight title. A good performance here is essential to each fighter’s immediate future and both are focused on coming away with an impressive victory.
The main event is supported by a great undercard of future stars. Israel Adesanya is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment. Going by the moniker “The Last Stylebender”, this middleweight looks like a fighter that can not only contribute hugely to the way we see MMA but to influence other fighters to change their own style. Much like other great names like Jon Jones, GSP and Anderson Silva, their influence on the sport is sometimes more impressive than their own accomplishments. Adesanya has the skills and physicality to do things that we rarely see in the MMA arena.
His opponent, although more conventional in his style, is an excellent example of everything that is right about the current MMA fighter archetype. Hailing from Italy, Marvin Vettori is a highly conditioned and well-rounded athlete. A brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, eight of his 12 wins have come by submission – usually a guillotine or rear-naked choke. Once he’s clamped on, he’s incredibly difficult to shake. Adesanya needs to keep that neck well away from Vettori and try to force a striking match. It’s a great opportunity to see how Adesanya deals with someone on a similar path, but with a more tested method of competing.
Watch UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Poirier live on BT Sport 2 from 11pm BST on Saturday, April 14, or catch the Early Prelims exclusively on UFC Fight Pass from 8:30pm BST