The rematch, where the BMF title was at stake, had everyone expecting another close encounter following their 2018 fight where Poirier stopped Gaethje in the fourth round.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Gaethje swiftly ended the fight just as it seemed to be heating up. Following the finish, however, fans began to question the legality of the kick.
A slow-motion video of the knockout raised questions over whether the fight could be declared a no contest due to the kick connecting with the back of Poirier’s head.
I’m not advocating for anything to be done about it but I watched back Gaethje’s headkick KO & it solely landed on the back of the head/neck of Poirier which put him to sleep. It’s clear as day in the replay. Could this in any universe be used to appeal the loss? #UFC291 pic.twitter.com/BUdxE1gE4B
— MMA Joey (@MMAJOEYC) July 31, 2023
Although that may have been the case, Big John McCarthy was adamant that the kick was legal.
Well the shin didn’t land on Dustin’s chin. It landed on Dustin’s arm which was driven into the head and jawline by the shin. The foot wrapping around towards the back of the head is totally legal https://t.co/J5UEiSNDBZ
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) August 1, 2023