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After Alvarez (29-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC) lost a dominant top position against Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) as part of a warning for illegal 12-to-6 elbows, Poirier took advantage in a big way.
No longer stuck on his backside with his back pressed to the fence and Alvarez mounted, Poirier landed a punch, a knee to the body, and then an absolute barrage of offense until Alvarez finally was put away.
The lightweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC on FOX 30 show at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It aired on FOX following additional prelims on FOX and UFC Fight Pass.
In May 2017 at UFC 211, Poirier’s fight with Alvarez ended in a no-contest when Alvarez landed a pair of illegal knees while Poirier was downed. It took a while for the rematch to materialize, but the wait probably was worth it to Poirier.
After the win, Poirier made his case in the cage with play-by-play voice Jon Anik for a title shot against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Just look at my track record,” Poirier said: “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?”
Alvarez kicked early and went to the center of the cage. He came behind it with a combination, but Poirier covered up. Alvarez ripped a combo to the body and backed Poirier up. Poirier landed a left hand, then backed out and worked his jab. Alvarez landed a heavy kick to the body, but Poirier worked through it, then closed the distance.
Alvarez put a combination on Poirier, but Poirier’s defense was on point. With 1:45 left, Alvarez dropped for a takedown, but Poirier defended it and landed a body kick in response. They traded punches in tight not long after, but Alvarez got the best of it. Alvarez landed solidly down the stretch in a conservative first round, yet one heavy on activity.
Poirier was able to get a guillotine choke in the second, but Alvarez defended it and Poirier had to momentarily give up position to Alvarez on the ground. But they got back to their feet, and two minutes in Alvarez landed a takedown. Alvarez took Poirier’s back and got a neck crank that had blood squeezing out of Poirier’s nose. The choke wasn’t there, but the crank was uncomfortable while it lasted.
With Alvarez mounted and Poirier’s back on the fence, Alvarez landed a pair of 12-6 elbows and referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight to warn Alvarez and take his dominant position away. On the restart, Poirier went absolutely ballistic.
It started with a left hand. And a knee to the body came after it. Poirier recognized Alvarez was hurt, and he poured it on. Punch after punch, elbows, kicks, knees – Alvarez wouldn’t go down. But then he finally did, and Goddard stepped in to shut it down.
“I’ll never quit in here. I’ll die in here. This is who I am. I live for this,” Poirier said, responding to comments Alvarez made ahead of the fight in regard to their first meeting. “The elbow landed on my shoulder. … Don’t throw a 12-to-6 elbow, just like don’t knee a downed opponent.”
Poirier won for the fourth straight time and third straight time against a former champion. Alvarez is back in the loss column after a win over Justin Gaethje this past December. He has dropped two of his past three, not counting his no-contest with Poirier in May 2017.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 30 results include:
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