Eddie Alvarez’s disastrous ONE Championship debut saw him sustain an injury to his eye that left him in a uniquely distracted state inside the cage.
Alvarez could not have entered his new home in Asia with a rougher opening matchup than the one Timofey Nastyukin was able to greet him with at ONE Championship: A New Era in March.
The underdog Nastyukhin was able to crack Eddie with a level of precision and power that seemed to surprise the former UFC champion along with the rest of us.
The finish eventually came for the Russian without much in the way of resistance from what appeared to be a somewhat meeker version of The Underground King.
However, according to the man himself – who has now spoken about the matter for the first time – all was not as it seemed on the night.
Speaking in a recent interview he did with ESPN, Alvarez explained how an injury he sustained midway through the fight caused him to completely lose focus on the task at hand.
“I’ve been fighting 16 years now I’ve never had anything feel like that. I’ve never, during a fight, stopped giving a shit about the outcome, the opponent. I immediately didn’t care about anything other than getting to a hospital as fast as possible.
“I felt like my eyeball exploded. And then I could feel the air getting into my eye, like directly into my eye. It was career threatening. That’s what I felt like, the immediate feeling.”
It may seem like an easy excuse to fall back on, but if you know anything about Eddie Alvarez, you’ll be aware of this man’s dedication to this sport and the honourable spirit he possesses.
Eddie went on to explain what happened post-fight once he arrived in the care of the doctors.
“Even when we got to the hospital, they were messing with it with stitches, stitching my eyelid.
“And then out of nowhere, I had a gush of blood coming out of my eye – one of them popped while I was in the hospital. It was nasty, man.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena