A scintillating fight between Eddie Alvares and Dustin Poirier tonight at UFC 211 was unfortunately marred by a controversial series of knee strikes that led to a no-contest ruling.
Alvarez takes the center of the Octagon to start the fight. Poirier with a kick that lands high to the former champion’s chest.
Now a body kick from Poirier. Again he goes for the same technique and lands it. Now a leg kick. Right hand for Alvarez, but it’s blocked.
Leg kick again for Porier. left hook for Alvarez. Another left hand for him as both fighters try to settle into their rhythm.
Poirier presses forward pumping out the jab. leg kick for Alvarez now and Poirier responds with one of his own. Alvarez with a body punch.
Poirier with a straight left and Alvarez tries for a takedown that’s easily shrugged aside. Body kick for Poirier.
Combination for Alvarez. Exchange in close and Poirier lands a hook. Another punch lands for Poirier. Back to the body kick now.
Punch to the body for Alvarez and then one upstairs. Alvarez tries for a head kick that just misses. Nice right hand lands for Poirier and Alvarez is already showing some redness around his left eye.
Alvarez winging a few hard shots at Alvarez towards the end of the round as he tries to get some of the momentum back from Poirier.
Nice uppercut for Alvarez. Now a left hook and a right behind it that both land clean. Alvarez into the clinch against the cage and Poirier was looking for a submission there, but lets it go.
Alvarez pressing him to the cage and working for a possible takedown, but then opts to peel away, reeling off a few punches as he does so.
Jab from Poirier comes into play. Then a body kick. Body kick for Alvarez now. Crisp jab for Poirier again, then the body kick.
Jab for Poirier, Alvarez lands a punch, but then gets clocked with a big shot that rocks him and he staggers backwards.
Alvarez badly hurt here as he retreats on wobbly legs to the cage and Poirier tees off on him. Alvarez always has incredible staying power though and somehow hangs in there and tries to fire back.
Poirier again starts to land hard shots and the former champ is in deep water again. However, he digs deep and lets his hands go, hurting Poirier in the process!
Now they are both rocked and still swinging heavy leather at each other! Crazy stuff and it’s remarkable they are both still standing.
Alvarez now works for a takedown and lands it. That’s big for him and could buy him time to recover. He’s still on the offensive though.
However, in the heat of the moment Alvarez appears to land a potentially illegal knee while Poirier’s hand was down and then another illegal knee lands to the head that slumps his opponent to the mat as the ref Herb Dean rushes in to stop the fight.
Poirier is given time to recover as the referee tries to make sense of what just happened. There’s a long wait and eventually Poirier confirms he’s unable to continue due to having blurred vision.
Dean then declares the fight to be a no-contest due to what he’s decided was an accidental foul on Alvarez’s part.
That’s a strange decision as replays clearly show Alvarez landing an illegal knee and in his post-fight interview as he watched it on the big screen the former champion admitted that it was (though he didn’t realize it when he threw it).
Still, both fighters show each other a great deal of respect and put on a great show up until that unfortunate incident, so hopefully a rematch will take place at some stage in the future.
Nevertheless, a recent rule change regarding grounded opponents has already led to several confusing situations like this in the Octagon and perhaps officials will now have to rethink the way this works to make it more clear for everyone.