A three-month delay didn't dull the action in an absolute lightweight war as Dustin Poirier derailed the hype train around Irish prospect Joseph Duffy in a three-round battle during the UFC 195 prelims.
The two fighters were originally matched up back in October, but Duffy suffered a slight concussion in the days leading up to the bout and the matchup was scrapped. They were rebooked for Saturday night but Poirier and Duffy didn't miss a step with a bloody 15-minute bloody that entertained the Las Vegas crowd.
At the start of the fight, Duffy looked to use his range and reach with a stiff jab that continuously popped Poirier in the face before he finally unloaded a huge uppercut and hook that stunned the American Top Team fighter.
Duffy tried to follow up with a barrage of strikes, but Poirier centered himself and regained his composure before any damage was done.
Following that exchange, Poirier altered his game plan and ended up taking Duffy to the ground where he unloaded a massive elbow strike that landed with such an emphatic thud that the echo reverberated into the crowd.
Poirier's strategy worked because he employed a similar technique in round two where he absolutely bludgeoned Duffy with strikes on the ground, blasting away with hard inside elbows that continuously blasted the Irishman in the face.
As the two fighters battled on the ground, the canvas started turning crimson but it was actually Poirier who suffered a bloody nose despite his best efforts to open a cut on Duffy with his hard elbow strikes from the guard.
"I was more surprised he didn't get cut," Poirier said after the fight. "I felt the bone in his forehead multiple times and he wasn't bleeding. I was the one bleeding. I tried to get the blood in his face. I'm a nasty motherf---er."
Poirier continued the assault in the third round until the referee finally stood them up and Duffy tried valiantly to make one last attempt at a comeback but it was all for naught. Poirier stayed composed and even survived a late triangle choke attempt to maintain control and finish the fight on top, which is exactly where he spent the majority of the last 10 minutes while tagging Duffy with hard, heavy punches and elbows.
"I don't care how much pain I go through, how much I bleed, how many motherf---ers in the crowd say I can't do it, I don't care -- I've got self belief!" Poirier shouted after the win. "I get it done, baby! I'm coming for that strap, I swear to God you better protect it!"
Poirier is now 3-0 since moving to lightweight as he inches closer and closer to a spot in the top 10 as the rest of the division takes notice of a new contender on the horizon.