Ultimate Fighting Championship (LUFC) Lightweight highlight reels Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje collided tonight (Sat., Dec. 2, 2017) on UFC 218’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card, which emanated from inside Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. It was a showdown that was billed as a potential “Fight of the Year” candidate and it did not disappoint.
Indeed, it was fireworks from the jump, with Alvarez enduring a punishing leg assault possible facial injury to score a thrilling third round technical knockout.
Gaethje opened up the action with a hard leg kick as Alvarez waded in for the looming firefight. Alvarez slung looping punches as Gaethje continued his leg assault. Alvarez returned fire and followed it up with a nice hard punch, but Gaethje kept walking forward. Alvarez switched stances and tried to avoid the leg kicks, throwing massive power shots that Gaethje was able to block and/or absorb. Gaethje went back to the well again and Alvarez tried to use his momentum to secure a takedown, but Gaethje quickly returned to his feet. Gaethje began to have some blood seep out of his nose and some swelling over his left eye, but that didn’t stop him from returning fire. Alvarez landed some really nice shots to the body, then a few upstairs, that had Gaethje covering up in defense. Alvarez ended the round with a forward-flip kick, which didn’t do anything other than look pretty cool.
Both fighters opened up the second round with leg kicks, with Alvarez once again winging looping punches and landing with at least one of them. Gaethje landed a nice left cross, but Alvarez responded with an equally-impressive right hook. Gaethje snuck in a nice uppercut as Alvarez doubled up with his jab. Gaethje waded in with his head down as Alvarez boxed his ears with a barrage of blocked shots. Alvarez ripped Gaethje’s body with thundering shots, which appeared to do serious damage. Gaethje, though, continued to fire move forward and fire back ... like the zombie he is. Alvarez was relentless in his attack and, at the end of the round, landed a flush kick to Gaethje’s face as he sprung to his feet. Gaethje was able to somehow respond with a flying knee at the bell.
Alvarez — with serious swelling on his right cheek — came out determined to start the third and final round. Gaethje went back to work on his legs, compelling Alvarez to try and pull guard, but Gaethje was having none of it. Midway through the round Alvarez was able to score a takedown, but Gaethje immediately got back to his feet and punished the left leg once again. Gaethje could barely stand toward the end of the match — he was exhausted. Then, with little more than one minute remaining in the bout, Alvarez drilled Gaethje with a clean knee to the face that sent him down to the canvas. Alvarez pounced and drilled him with punches until the referee pulled him off — what a fight!
This bout more than lived up to the hype. The two men stood toe-to-toe for 14 minutes until one of them dropped. Alvarez took some serious damage along the way, particularly his right cheek and battered legs, but he pushed through it all to do what no other man had been able to do to date in professional mixed martial arts (MMA): Defeat Gaethje.
And he didn’t just beat him, but he stopped the former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Lightweight champion. It was awesome.
For complete UFC 218: “Holloway vs. Aldo 2” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.