Late Saturday night, Philadelphia’s favorite fighter Eddie Alvarez squared off against the undefeated Justin “the Highlight” Gaethje at UFC 218. The two were coaches on Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter. While Team Gaethje won the reality show, it was Alvarez who would eventually win the war by third-round knockout.
I chose that word very deliberately, not just because of the cliché saying, because Alvarez vs. Gaethje was a legitimate war. Their matchup could be considered a Fight of the Year candidate. There simply aren’t words to describe the fight. If you haven’t watched a fight before and were looking to get into it, this would be one to check out for sure. It was the textbook definition of a brawl. The two guys just stood in front of each other and threw hands and kicks until one of them gave out.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje was like being a kid anticipating Christmas and then waking up and finding out you got all the presents you wanted.
— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) December 3, 2017
Lucky for Alvarez, it was Gaethje who would be the one to fall due to a knee in the third round.
— Ahmar Khan (@AhmarSKhan) December 3, 2017
Here is the sequence to end the fight. Notice two things:
1. The golf ball sized cyst on Eddie’s mouth. Gaethje landed some good shots to Alvarez’s face.
2. Alvarez is really leaning on Gaethje due to the large amount of leg kicks.
This is as good as Alvarez has looked in recent memory. With this win he has put the lightweight division on notice; “the Underground King” is back and better than ever.
And new King of Violence champion, Eddie Alvarez! #UFC218
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) December 3, 2017
Violence and ability to sell a fight are the two things that are most important things to have in today’s UFC, you need to be able to talk and then back it up. Alvarez and Gaethje backed up their words on Saturday night.
In this fight, Philly’s guy proved that he still has a lot left in the tank and can make another run at the belt. I look for Alvarez to come back and fight either Nate Diaz or have a rematch with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. With another win he might be able to get his name back in title talks with Tony Ferguson [I doubt Conor McGregor will return to MMA even though Dana White said after the show he isn’t expecting him back until next summer.]