The rematch a year in the making.
After months of will-they-won’t-they anticipation, UFC Lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier are confirmed for a heated rematch.
MMA Fighting confirmed on Thursday that the two will settle their score at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, on July 28.
Alvarez and Poirier first fought last May at UFC 211. The contest was extremely entertaining while it lasted. Both men elected to try and punch their way to victory, and the crisp strait shots of Poirier were visibly wearing down Alvarez, who always fights with wider hooks. In the second round, Poirier was attempting to stand up with Alvarez atop him, and Alvarez landed several illegal knees to the head, which ended the contest and rendered it a no-contest.
Although both men were cordial in the cage, their rivalry has since exploded, with Poirier decrying the illegal strikes and Alvarez saying Poirier was simply looking for a way out. Each man has had one fight after, both earning stoppages over Justin Gaethje. After his more recent victory, Poirier made it clear he only had Alvarez in mind next, and on Thursday Alvarez tweeted:
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) May 10, 2018
But immediately news surfaced of complications with the rematch. Some outlets reported that this was only an agreement with no signed bout contracts, and some reported that Poirier was upset at how long the bout had taken to materialize, and was holding out for ideal terms.
Despite such confusion, the fight now confirmed and fans can expect some intense verbal sparring in the lead up to this inevitably exciting rematch.
The fascinating aspect of analyzing this match is that both men fought the same opponent during the interim. Alvarez was in spectacular form, punishing Gaethje’s body and completely disregarding the damage he took. If Alvarez can bring that same mentality to the Poirier rematch, he will be no pushover.
Poirier for his part struggled more with Gaethje’s pressure- it was a tactical anticipation that won him the bout, timing Gaethje’s leg kick and landing a strait left down the pipe. Educated boxing will likely be his best ally in this Alvarez rematch, if he can make it a contest of hands, he is likely to get the victory he feels he deserves.