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29th Jul 2018

Eddie Alvarez brutally knocked out after making truly awful error

It was a huge turning point

Ben Kiely

Eddie Alvarez fell victim to arguably the dumbest rule in MMA at UFC Calgary

Two of the three judges had Eddie Alvarez winning the first round against Dustin Poirier. In the second round of their lightweight main event, ‘The Underground King’ managed to get in full mount against the fence.

Alvarez put on a typically gritty performance to find himself in the dominant top position. Although the first round was somewhat conservative, he ate some heavy shots. He ate a body kick well following a failed takedown attempt. In the second, he toughed it out to make ‘the Diamond’ let go of a guillotine.

The got back to their feet before Alvarez landed a takedown. He took Poirier’s back and got a nasty neck crank. The choke wasn’t there, but eventually, Alvarez found himself in full mount. There was plenty of time left to work with, but then, he was forced to stand back up after committing a foul that has been around for 18 years.

The dumbest rule in MMA

Alvarez landed a pair of 12-6 elbows in full mount. For the uninitiated, this is an illegal move in MMA. The numbers refer to the face of a clock. According to the rule, it is illegal to strike with an elbow straight down on your opponent from 12 o’clock to six o’clock.

Although the rule is widely considered to among the dumbest in the Unified Rules of MMA, it is still there to be enforced. Referee Marc Goddard simply did his job by stopping the fight to warn Alvarez and take his dominant position away.

The replays didn’t paint Alvarez’s corner in the best light. His head coach Mark Henry appeared to be instructing him to land the illegal blow.

Acting on instinct?

As soon as the fight restarted, Poirier went berserk. He landed a punch followed by a vicious knee to the body. He kept pummelling Alvarez until he couldn’t take it anymore. Once he fell to a knee, Goddard stepped in to award Poirier the TKO victory at the 4:05 mark of the second round.

Why did he do what he did? Perhaps the answer he gave on the MMA Hour for why he threw those illegal knees in his controversial first fight with Poirier will explain it.

“The truth is, almost everything we do inside of a cage is done instinctual. There is no thought involved, no thought pattern, no anything. It’s an instinct, you do it and I did it and it is what it is. I’m sorry for what happened, but I’m just acting instinctual in there. I’m just fighting, I’m trying to survive.”

After the bout, Poirier made his case for receiving a title shot. While Khabib Nurmagomedov seems certain to defend his lightweight strap against Conor McGregor next, Poirier may have secured the next crack at the title after that display.

“Just look at my track record. Eddie Alvarez, former champ. Anthony Pettis, former champ. Justin Gaethje, former (WSOF) champ. Eddie Alvarez, former champ. That’s four champions in a row. What else do I gotta do (to get a title shot)? This is like my 23rd fight in the UFC. C’mon. Khabib-y, where you at?”

Poirier (24-5, 16-4 UFC) is now riding a four-fight win streak, with three of those wins coming against former champions. Meanwhile, Alvarez (29-6, 4-3 UFC) is back in the loss column after his knockout win against Justin Gaethje last December.