As soon as the fight between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez was announced, fans knew it was going to be a thrilling encounter.
For the most part, the two lived up to it as The Diamond landed some brutal strikes throughout the fight but Alvarez managed to hold his own.
What fans didn’t expect, though, was the controversial ending as Alvarez – who started to mount an impressive comeback after nearly getting knocked out – floored Poirier with a blatantly illegal knee; prompting referee Herb Dean to call the fight off as a no contest in the second round.
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It’s a similar situation to what we witnessed at UFC 210 when knee strikes from Gegard Mousasi saw him pick up a TKO win over Chris Weidman, even with the latter complaining they were illegal.
It was still an entertaining contest, so it comes as no surprise that fans and fighters have been vocal about wanting to see the two men go at it again with Poirier using his sharp left hand in the first round to get the better of the exchanges between the pair.
It looked as if Alvarez was going to lose back-to-back fights, as another straight left from Poirier had the former UFC lightweight champion on the back foot and the follow-up blitz looked as if it would end the fight – but Alvarez recovered.
Despite the onslaught, Alvarez kept coming forward and mounted some offence of his own by connecting with some big punches and landed a vital takedown – however, that’s when things went awry.
As Alvarez worked his way back to his feet, he started to land some vicious knees to the head which were questionable at first, as Poirier had one hand on the mat and as the Texas commission hasn’t adopted the new unified MMA rules just yet, Dean should have intervened at that stage.
Instead, the knees continued and the crucial knee was visibly illegal as Poirier had one knee on the mat, and dropped to the mat face first.
After consulting with Poirier and the doctor at cage side, Dean called off the fight but instead of disqualifying Alvarez, he strangely called it a no contest – even though the knee was visibly illegal.
Following the fight, Alvarez was keen to meet Poirier again and admitted in the post-fight interview that his third knee was illegal.
He said: “I was in a fist fight. I thought I had Dustin hurt and I thought he was a little tired. The first knee, I thought he was playing the game where he had his hand down.
“Herb was very clear about you can’t play the game. So, I hurt him with the first one. I think the second one may have been legal, but the third knee was illegal. I saw it on the prompter afterwards that it was illegal, and I apologise to Dustin.
"That’s a fight I’d love to replay. I think it’s only right for me, Dustin and the fans to run that back.”
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that we could probably expect them to put on another entertaining show in the future.
What did you make of the no contest between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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