Dustin Poirier (22-5-0, 1NC) made a statement Saturday night with a third-round TKO victory over Anthony Pettis (21-7-0) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Poirier looked for the takedown in all three rounds and got them, but Pettis did well to counter and threaten with submissions until the third, where “The Diamond” secured the back with a bodylock and out-manuevered Pettis by transitioning to mount when Pettis tried to escape.

Pettis verbally submitted at 2:08 of the third round with an injury to the rib area.

With the win, Poirier and Pettis secured Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Raphael Assuncao and Matt Brown earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Poirier called out the winner of the upcoming TUF 26 coaches matchup of Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje in the post-fight interview.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.

MAIN CARD

JOE LAUZON VS. CLAY GUIDA

WINNER: CLAY GUIDA VIA TKO R1 1:07

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CLAY GUIDA VIA UD

Andrews: I didn’t expect Guida to thrash Lauzon that quickly, but he hurt him and swarmed for the finish. Good win for “The Carpenter.”

#4 RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VS #13 MATTHEW LOPEZ

WINNER: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA TKO R3 1:50

ANDREWS PREDICTION: RAPHAEL ASSUNCAO VIA UD

Andrews: Assuncao picked apart Lopez with strikes. Good win, but does this get Assuncao to a title shot? No.

NATE MARQUARDT VS. CEZAR FERREIRA

WINNER: CEZAR FERREIRA VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CEZAR FERREIRA VIA TKO

Andrews: I thought Ferreira would knock Nate out, but to Marquardt’s credit he made Cezar work very hard for the split-decision.

#12 JUNIOR ALBINI VS. #13 ANDREI ARLOVSKI 

WINNER: ANDREI ARLOVSKI VIA UD (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JUNIOR ALBINI VIA TKO 

Andrews: Arlovski lives to fight another day. Disappointing fight for Albini as he squandered an opportunity.

MATT BROWN VS. DIEGO SANCHEZ

WINNER: MATT BROWN VIA TKO (ELBOWS) R1 3:44

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DIEGO SANCHEZ VIA TKO

Andrews: Sanchez should have finished the fight, but credit Brown for getting off his duff and putting it to “The Nightmare.” The retirement talk is on the shelf for now.

MAIN EVENT

DUSTIN POIRIER  VS. ANTHONY PETTIS 

WINNER: DUSTIN POIRIER VIA TKO (RIB INJURY) R3 2:08

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DUSTIN POIRIER VIA UD

Andrews: The body of Anthony Pettis is breaking down. Five years ago, he would have finished a guy like Poirier but now everyone at the top knows how to take him down. It looks like “Showtime” will be a gatekeeper rather than a champion.

@kenaiandrews