Eddie Alvarez Does The Impossible And KO’s Justin Gaethje
A lightweight clash on the main card of UFC 218 saw top contenders Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje duke it out in a battle that would have huge implications for the division.
Alvarez (28-5 before this fight) lost his lightweight crown to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 last November but rather than trying to secure a shot at a rematch, The Underground King had his sights set of a different title.
“I only deal with things I can control and right now there’s a whole other title on the line and that’s the ‘UFC most violent man,'” Alvarez said beforehand. “And that title is on the line on December 2.”
Alvarez stated that he had less fu*ks to give lately and that had been helping with his game.
“I will say this, it’s going to be fu*king nuts because I spent a great deal of this training camp working on not giving a fu*k myself and I’m getting better and better the less I care.”
Still, not caring isn’t the same as not respecting one’s opponent and Alvarez clearly respects the hard-hitting Gaethje.
“Justin’s an ace – he’s one of the good guys,” Alvarez said. “He works hard, he busts his ass – there’s a reason why he’s an undefeated fighter. I got a chance to get to know him and I’d be lying to you if I said I had any animosity or beef toward him.
“He’s very honest with himself – I think he knows what he’s getting into. No, I don’t think he’s fought anyone like me. There aren’t many people like me.”
Gaethje came into this one with an undefeated 18-0 record and the bookmakers were predicting he would make in 19 in a row when they installed him as the $1.50 favourite while Alvarez was an outsider at $2.60.
So, the bookies were predicting a Gaethje victory and fans were predicting a barnburner…
Gaethje’s game plan was put on display in the opening seconds, opting to use leg kicks to take pick Alvarez apart. Within two minutes of the first round, the leg kicks were clearly affecting Alvarez and it seemed like the fight could be short lived.
Alvarez attempted to heavy bombs and uppercuts, but Gaethje effectively covered up. In the second half of the first round, Alvarez then started to land on the body of Gaethje which completely switched the fight. It was a close round but Alvarez may have snuck away with it.
The second round was very similar, with both men standing and trading, and the swelling on both men continued to grow. Gaethje started to look vulnerable, and after awkwardly falling back, Eddie threw a head kick as he stood back up which could have ended very badly.
In the final round, both men raised their arms to signal the crowd to get excited, and they sure didn’t disappoint. After eating more punches, Gaethje started to stumble and looked like one final hit could finish him. In the end Eddie closed the gap and landed a brutal knee to the head in the clinch, which floored Gaethje.
And new Violent Champion of the World: Eddie Alvarez. TKO in the third via absolutely vicious knee to the face. What a win. The Underground King refuses to go away. Justin Gaethje’s first loss.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 3, 2017
Eddie winning with one of the most violent KO’s of his career.
Eddie Alvarez is the first man to defeat Justin Gaethje in his professional career! 👊
— #UFC218 (@btsportufc) December 3, 2017
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