clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Alvarez: Poirier better fighter, but unlike him, Gaethje has no quit

UFC 218: Alvarez v Gaethje Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Lightweights Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier are scheduled to throw down in the main event of UFC on Fox 29 on April 14th. Former Bellator and UFC champion Eddie Alvarez has fought both Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, knocking out Gaethje and going to a controversial no-contest with Dustin Poirier. In his mind, their upcoming fight has a very specific dynamic: skill vs. will. Transcript via

“I think it’s no question that Dustin Poirier is a more skilled fighter than Justin Gaethje,” Alvarez said. “That’s safe to say. I think everybody in this room would agree with that, skill-wise. But Justin has the intangibles. And, at no time in the ring, when I was beating Justin, no matter how hard I was hitting him, did I feel like he was accepting defeat. Not at any point.

“And I can’t say the same for the Dustin fight. I feel like there was a point at that fight when I felt that he accepted defeat and he wanted to be out of the fight. Justin didn’t. And I beat Justin worse. So I have to give the edge to Justin in that respect, because I don’t feel like Dustin Poirier is going to be able to finish him. He’s going to have to fight him for the whole fight.”

Interestingly enough, this is analysis Justin Gaethje agrees with, conceding Poirier has a skill advantage at range but saying he won’t consent to a range striking battle.

That’s not all Alvarez had to say about Justin Gaethje. Having worked alongside Gaethje on the Ultimate Fighter season 26 before facing him in the Octagon, he had an opportunity to see Gaethje’s philosophy up close, and he said he has no choice but to respect it.

“I actually went into that fight expecting complete chaos and exactly what it was,” Alvarez said. “I spent some time with him on ‘TUF’ show. I got a good gauge on what type of person he is and how he likes to live his life and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

One story in particular stood out as an example of Gaethje’s indomitable spirit. The two coaches had a swimming challenge with a $10,000 for the winner and $1,500 for each person on the winner’s team. Alvarez, who swims regularly, won handily. Just as in their eventual fight, however, Gaethje won his respect.

“I cross-train swimming, I enjoy swimming, so I know what it’s like to not be able to swim and try to get in a pool and swim laps,” Alvarez said. “He damn near drowned during this event on the ‘TUF’ show. You didn’t get to see the whole thing, but he almost drowned in the pool.

“But he finished the half a mile of swimming. Never being a swimmer, ever, in his life. Which I was like, ‘Holy (expletive), I would never.’ I think the first time I went in the pool, I did a lap and I passed out.”

“I said to him that, ‘You swim like you fight,’” Alvarez said. “Like, he’s 100 miles an hour, he has no pace. And he said, ‘Well, I didn’t learn a thing,’ like, ‘The swimming did nothing. I’m still going to fight exactly the same way I fight.’ That’s the kind of guy he is, that’s the kind of way he lives and I respect that.”

Win or lose, Dustin Poirier has had a streak of nonstop exciting fights since his 2012 bout against the Korean Zombie. Justin Gaethje hasn’t had a boring fight yet, and his UFC debut with Michael Johnson was an all-time classic. It’s safe to say I can’t wait for April 14.


McGregor is working with young Moldovan wrestlers. Perhaps he anticipates a certain Dagestani wrestler will be his opponent upon his UFC return.

American Chopper is coming back to TV before McGregor returns to the UFC. I watch basically no TV and even I remember this scene:

Nate Diaz is always in the gym, but will he ever return to the UFC?

A post shared by natediaz209 (@natediaz209) on

Derrick Lewis’ nonstop Instagram feed of entertainment:

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

Rose Namajunas GIFs:

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips


Quick finish:

Rousimar Palhares is still atoning for his sins.

Nicely done.

Head kicks.

Random Land

Ummmm a fuckin sick one.

A post shared by Jessica Anteby (@beigecardigan) on

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania