Prior to the fight, Poirier said that after Saturday night he didn't want to scream about how he deserved a title shot, but rather prove that he earned it by finishing Gaethje in impressive fashion.
Gaethje relied on his chin to carry him through the earlier parts of the fight as he attacked Poirier relentlessly with leg kicks that left Poirier limping back to his corner.
"I've been knocked out, climbed back, over and over again. I would never stand right here and ask for something I didn't earn", Poirier shouted. In his last nine fights, Poirier is 7-1 with a no-contest vs. Eddie Alvarez.
"Dana [White], Sean [Shelby], Khabib - it's f-ing time". He was forced to walk through hell in order to get there in a fight that was contested on Gaethje's terms when it comes to pace and distance. The No. 6-ranked Gaethje falls to 18-2.
The insane action continued into Round 3 when a counter right hand staggered Poirier against the fence.
Pelicans try to tame wild Portland crowd
Just three wins separated the No. 3 seed in the west - Portland, with 49 wins - and the No. 9 seed - Denver, with 46 wins. Holidayscored 21 points for New Orleans, Nikola Mirotic added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Rajon Rondo made 17 assists.
Round Four: The round begins with Gaethje attacking Poirier with a two punch combination, Poirier rocks a swinging Gaethje with a counter left. Gaethje attempted to follow up, but Poirier did a good job to avoid taking too much more damage and then he ended up catching a break after he received a finger in the eye for the second time in the fight. Poirier gets defensive and he swings away at an approaching Gaethje, Gaethje gets Poirier against the cage wall while landing knee strikes. Dean jumped in at 33 seconds after Gaethje collapsed to the ground.
"This guy has no quit in him", Poirier said of his opponent.
Nurmagomedov, who won the title last week with a victory over Al Iaquinta, took note of the performance of both fighters via Twitter, posting "It was a great fight, congratulations both".
What remains unsure, however, is whether Poirier will get his wish for an instant title shot. The former featherweight contender feels reborn in his return to 155 pounds and has added plenty of poise and polish to his exciting style.