Dustin Poirier’s quest to get back into UFC featherweight title contention took a step in the right direction Saturday night, as “The Diamond” defeated Erik Koch at UFC 164.

Koch, competing in his training hometown of Milwaukee, nearly ended the fight early in the first after securing a submission. Poirier, though, survived and thrived, out-striking Koch the rest of the way.

“That triangle was really close guys,” Poirier said. “I felt myself losing this fight for a second…..but (I fought it) because I’m a fighter.”

Poirier (14-3) rebounded from a loss to Cub Swanson earlier this year, landing 64 significant strikes and 43 ground strikes. He also nearly finished Koch with a D’arce choke later in the battle.

“That was locked in right,” he said.

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