Eddie Alvarez ends Justin Gaethje's undefeated streak with brutal knockout 4 years ago

Eddie Alvarez ends Justin Gaethje's undefeated streak with brutal knockout

You asked for violence, and Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje duly delivered.

Expectations were high for the scrap between Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje on UFC 218's main card, and deservedly so.

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Both fighters have a reputation for high-risk offence coupled with elite-level gameness and superhuman durability. They both have more knockouts than any other method of victory on their records. Both are former world champions, but this time around, both of them were fighting for a very different accolade.

To the victor went the spoils of the 'UFC's most violent man' title, but both of them knew they would have to earn that unofficial throne the hard way.

Like every vintage performance from 'the Underground King,' he had to overcome early adversity. Gaethje continuously cut his legs down with thunderous kicks from the very first exchange onwards. While Alvarez was landing with more volume with his hands, he was on wobbly legs for the entirety of the fight after eating leg kick after leg kick.

The action heated up more in the second frame with both men finding success with uppercuts on the feet. Much like the first round Alvarez was outstriking his opponent in terms of volume, but Gaethje was landing with bad intentions. Alvarez walked back to his corner with a swollen cheek at the end of the second.

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Gaethje likely needed a finish in the third round to get the victory, but Alvarez was also fighting like he needed to render the other man unconscious. Technique went into decline as the lactic acid built up in their muscles, but their hearts only seemed to grow larger. Just when both of them seemed to fade to the point of exhaustion, Alvarez crumbled Gathje to the mat with a seismic knee to the dome in the clinch.

One slow-motion fall to the canvas later, Alvarez's hands were raised and referee Herb Dean stepped in to award him the TKO victory at the 3:59 mark of the third round.

It was an important victory for Alvarez (29-5), who got back in the win column for the first time since he knocked out Rafael dos Anjos to claim the UFC lightweight strap in 2016. Meanwhile, Gaethje (18-1) suffered his first ever loss in his 19th professional fight.

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Both Alvarez and Gaethje were unable to engage in any post-fight media work. The two warriors were transported to hospital directly after the bout.