Following his win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 218, Eddie Alvarez has solidified his status as a true legend of both the lightweight division and the sport as a whole beyond all doubt.
What a night UFC 218 turned out to be. After being handed the unfortunate task of following up last month’s incomparable UFC 217, many had wondered if the buzz that November’s Madison Square Garden card had generated would place the bar too high for UFC 218 to ever possibly compete but with a pair of Fight of the Year-worthy showdowns, an absolute cert for Knockout of the Year and a myriad of other truly breathtaking moments from start-to-finish, the event managed to be a worthy successor to one of the most memorable nights in the sport’s history.
And though the buzz surrounding the main and co-main events were strong, the ‘people’s main-event’ was said to be the lightweight collision between Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, a fight deemed to be for the title of ‘the sport’s most violent man’.
It didn’t even matter that the welterweight clash just before between Alex Oliveira and Yancy Medeiros was already a shoo-in for Fight of the Night honours, Gaethje and Alvarez managed to put forth a battle that the UFC just could not ignore when handing out their bonuses.
After what was a gruelling three round war it was Alvarez who scored the late finish in one of the gutsiest performance of his career and in beating the former World Series of Fighting champ Gaethje, he managed to establish himself as one of the game’s most decorated ‘champ-killers’.
Eddie Alvarez has defeated a:
Strikeforce champ (Melendez)
WEC/UFC champ (Pettis)
Bellator champ (Chandler)
WSOF champ (Gaethje)
DREAM champ (Aoki)
Official champ killer.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 3, 2017
When you think about it, Alvarez has seen and done it all in this sport. Sure, he has lost on more than one occasion in the past, but with such a long and storied history of fighting the very best the world has to offer, with his career now reaching its twilight years, he has most certainly carved out a record befitting of a true legend of the game.
Of course, it was quickly pointed out how one major champion’s scalp eluded him but still, to have defeated belt-holders in five of the biggest organisations in the world is one truly astonishing feat, and anyone who has watched Alvarez’s progression over the course of his career will know that this guy is a warrior and an icon in every sense of the word, even if he did come up short in his biggest moment on the global stage.
Not Cage Warriors though
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) December 3, 2017
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena