WATCH: Eddie Alvarez & Dustin Poirier Go To Absolute WAR – Fight Ends As No Contest
With such a stacked 211 card, top lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier somehow found themselves as the main act of the prelims but both fighters were determined to put on a show in front of a packed American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Alvarez (28-5 before this fight) was coming off a heavy defeat to Conor McGregor at UFC 205. That loss cost him the lightweight strap and the American admitted that it took him a while to bounce back, considering what went down.
Speaking to MMA Fighting in the run-up to this bout, Alvarez opened up; “Climbing back from the November 5th fight was difficult. I’d be lying if I told you, ‘Oh I just bounced right back off the mat.’ I needed some serious dusting off. I needed to forgive myself. I’m my own worst critic so I was very disappointed and p*ssed off at myself about Madison Square Garden.”
Surprisingly, Alvarez felt that having his worst nightmare come true in front of so many people was actually a huge weight off his shoulders.
“I think there’s a freedom in having your worst nightmare come true,” he said. “As a fighter, your worst nightmare is to get knocked out in front of millions of people. That’s like the dream of waking up naked in your classroom. So getting that out of the way, there’s a freedom in it for me.”
Alvarez said that he was only one or two big wins away from being right back in contention for the 155-pound belt (especially considering the way things have been going in the UFC lately) but his plan was to dust off Dustin and convince Nate Diaz to get in the Octagon with him.
“The UFC’s pretty crazy. There’s a couple other guys in front of me but it really depends on how you fight and what kind of show you put on,” Alvarez said. “But I don’t care. I want to knock out Dustin and then I want to get Nate Diaz off his bicycle and get him back in the cage in some way, shape, or form.”
Poirier also considered himself to be 1-2 wins away from his own title shot; “A win over Eddie Alvarez would put me right there fighting for the title,” the Louisiana native told MMAjunkie Radio. “That would put me at 6-1 in the lightweight division with a win over the former champ,” Poirier said. “It’s not like I’m a guy who just stumbled into the top 10. I’ve been in title eliminator fights before at featherweight. I’m not a new guy to the block, and I’ve been putting in work.
“This guy was just a champion. If I go out there and put a stamp on Eddie Alvarez, I think I’m one win away.”
So the stakes were sky high for both fighters; an impressive win here would put them right in the mixed while a loss would see them slide down the rankings.
For the second straight month however, controversy over knees to a downed fighter brought a halt to a spectacular bout.
Poirier coming out hard telling people not to boo Alvarez. Damn that's some real love right there. Did not have to do that. #UFC211
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) May 14, 2017
Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier were putting on what had the potential to be Fight of the Night, and perhaps even Fight of the Year, before three consecutive knees from Alvarez to a downed Poirier brought an end to their UFC 211 lightweight bout in Dallas.
— esther lin (@allelbows) May 14, 2017
Referee Herb Dean ruled the fouls accidental instead of intentional, causing the matchup to be ruled a no contest at 4:12 of the second round at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
“Run it back,” Alvarez said. “I say let’s do it again.”
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— UFC (@ufc) May 14, 2017