Ultimate Fighting Championship, the American all time famous MMA promotion, holds fights each week that many across the world tune in to. The UFC 211 held on 13th May 2017 witnessed a fight stoppage and deemed “No Contest”. After illegal knees were thrown by Eddie Alvarez (28-5-0) while in the cage with Dustin Poirier (21-5-0) during the Lightweight Preliminary card bout, it was ended.
The live interview between the two fighters at the end of the night blew many fans away. MMA is an aggressive sport where athletes hone in testosterone and natural instinctual survival skills. Around the world, taunts are used as a means for media hype and as an expression of honest antagonistic feelings towards others. To see genuine respect between opponents, that honors the professional athlete they are, is not a spectacle seen often. This particular recent fight warrants attention as an inspiration for all fighters around the world, due to the displays of good sportsmanship around the circumstance.
In the Arab world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the same is true. It is not often we see the exchange of true respect between fighters. Definitely not when foul play is suspected. It is a rare occurrence to hear minimal trash talk and appreciation for the skills of fellow MMA fighters on a normal day. Needless to say, this of course does not apply to all fighters in the region.
Lightweight Preliminary Card UFC 211 (Alvarez vs Poirier)
The Preliminary card FX Lightweight bout between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier has been decided as a “No Contest” bout. The accidental foul via the use of illegal knees by Alvarez in the second round is the reason. These two were having a strong suspenseful striking match but as Alvarez caught Poirier up against the cage on the mat, Alvarez threw 3 knees to the head of his opponent.
According to the rules of MMA if a fighter has one hand on the mat it is illegal to throw knees. What is special about this “No Contest” decision is the response of both fighters. Both showed immense support, humility and respect during the end interview as Joe Rogan entered and interviewed them on the spot. The scene was replayed on the big screen for all to see. Unaware of the situation at the time, Alvarez and Poirier had a chance to have the incident brought into awareness.
Alvarez took the moment to express his point on the matter and said, “Look guys, I’m not a dirty fighter, we fist fighting in here,I’m doing the best I can. I apologize to Dustin, I apologize to everyone”.
The crowd erupted in boos to which Poirier quickly stole the mic, and shut the crowd up by demanding respect for Alvarez.
“HEY! Don’t boo this man,this guy is a champion, this guy has fought all over the world. I got nothing but respect for this guy. You do not boo this man, this guy is a warrior. This is unfortunate, he didn’t mean to do that but like he said this is a fist fight, we fighting”
Joe Rogan followed up with Alvarez and asked “Tell me what you thought, you thought it was perfectly legal, you thought you had him hurt, give me your thoughts”
Alvarez also mentioned a redo of the match to make up for the accident as he ended the live interview saying “he[Poirier] was doing a great job at keeping me at distance. I was just trying to do everything I could to win the fight.I thought he was playing the game at first, the second one I looked at it and it was illegal, lets do it again”.
True gentlemen of the sport, this match deserves attention. One disqualification and accidental illegal move does not make a fighter sneaky or dirty. Sometimes in the heat of the moment with a swollen eye, things happen and this was well handled by both fighters.