A season of playing as opposing coaches on TUF usually translates into some heat between two fighters, but that’s not the case with Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje. No, the former Bellator and UFC champ and the former WSOF champ are just simply two guys who like to bang, and they respect each other for that and promise a war for this, their UFC 218 main card bout.

The come out for the first round and engage, and despite Alvarez’s success with Muay Thai in the past, it’s actually Gaethje’s leg-kicks that do the most damage. This throws Alvarez off at first, but soon he’s firing back with heavy punches to the body, and that starts to slow the WSOF champ down. The round ends with Gaethje bleeding.

They pick up where they left off in Round 2, with Gaethje working those kicks to Alvarez’s legs, and Alvarez taking whole chunks out of him with his fists. The knuckles to the face have Gaethje bleeding even more, and the knuckles to the body forcing Gaethje to huff and puff like a fat man at a marathon. He keeps coming though, determined to find that opening.

Alvarez is wearing his damage as well, with his thigh a mess and his face a mess, and he adds a takedown into his offense mix to keep Gaethje guessing. Gaethje don’t care – he gets back up, and the two trade. And then, during a flurry, he ducks his head and leans into an Alvarez knee, and suddenly he crumples to the canvas. Great, exciting fight with a violent ending. These guys definitely delivered as promised!


Results: Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via TKO (Strikes) at 3:59, R3