The UFC simply couldn’t pick a Fight of the Night in Detroit on Saturday — so they awarded two.
UFC 218 may not have lived up to last month’s New York City card, but it came awfully close. With a number of stellar bouts on the card, including a slugfest in the main event that saw Max Holloway stop Jose Aldo in the third round again, there were lost of bouts with the potential to take Fight of the Night. The UFC, however, couldn’t pick just one. Alvarez vs. Gaethje? The main event? Medeiros vs. Oliveira?
So, instead of picking one, the UFC awarded two. Fight of the Night honors went to both Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje and Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira. The UFC announced the news following Saturday’s card.
On the televised preliminary portion of the event, Hawaii’s Yancy Medeiros and Brazil’s Alex Oliveira battled it out in an off-the-wall, back-and-forth war that saw both men knock down the other. Repeatedly. While Oliveira would seem to have the edge early, Medeiros held on. Not only did he old on, he then battled back, finishing Brazil’s ‘Cowboy’ in the third.
Like Medeiros vs. Oliveira, Alvarez vs. Gaethje also ended in the third. In a bout that promised to be a violent classic, it delivered from the outset. Gaethje worked the legs of Alvarez, while the former lightweight champ found a home for his hands. In the end, Alvarez was forced to switch stances, while a bloodied Gaethje was pummeled. Gaethje looked like he might turn things around in the third, with his opponent’s leg giving out. However, Alvarez connected with a knee to the head of the ex-WSOF champ, dropping him. That sealed the deal: Alvarez had the win, and Gaethje had his first professional loss.
With two Fight of the Night awards handed out, no Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded. All bonus winners will receive $50,000 for their efforts.