Despite Wet Willie and Illegal Elbow, Feud Between Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez is Over Following UFC Calgary

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Wet Willies and illegal knees aside, Dustin Poirier has respect for Eddie Alvarez following their main event war at UFC Calgary.

Calgary, AB — In a weird way, the main event rematch between Dustin Porier and Eddie Alvarez had been overshadowed heading into UFC on FOX 30. That grudge match, going back to their UFC 211 tilt that ended in controversy due to Alvarez’s use of illegal knees, promised to be a violent affair. The sort of fight that MMA fans and casual viewers alike could appreciate. Yet with two other former champions on the main card in Calgary (Jose Aldo and Joanna Jedrzejczyk), the spotlight simply had to be shared. The story line for the main event? It was a fight that simply had to happen.

After all, despite lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov saying he believed the winner of Alvarez-Poirier 2 should get the next title shot, we all know who he’ll be fighting next.

Yet when Alvarez vs. Poirier the sequel played out in the cage, it was another All-Violence affair. Much like Alvarez vs. Gaethje and Gaethje vs. Poirier. In fact, put those three men in an endless rotation of fighting one another in various combinations, and we’re watching each and every time. Though, what it would do to their health would not be pretty. In any case, after a bit of a slow start that saw Saturday’s main event pair showing a healthy dose of respect for each other, Alvarez and Poirier devolved into the all-out war it promised to be. And while Alvarez seemingly had the better of Poirier, in mount along the cage in the second round, an illegal 12-6 elbow forced a standup.

That spelled the end of the former lightweight champion’s night. Poirier found his mark, rocked Alvarez, and unleashed a barrage of punches. And elbows. Forearms. The kitchen sink, for good measure. Eddie Alvarez went down, later, Dustin Poirier’s arm went up.

It was another key win, and Poirier is now as deserving of a title shot as they come. The champ knows it. The fans know it. Even the UFC knows it. But there’s money to be made, so it will be made. In the meantime, Poirier discussed the fight, and what comes next, at the post-fight press conference at the Saddledome.

“I have the potential to be the best in the world,” he said following the win. “I cut no corners, I learn from my mistakes, and my success. I put everything into this. It just feels good to come out here and get another win against arguably one of the best lightweights to ever fight in mixed martial arts.”

There was some question about Poirier’s attempt at a guillotine choke on Alvarez during the second round, a topic he addressed post fight as well. “In camp I was killing it with the guillotine. It’s something I don’t ever chase because I don’t like to give up position,” he said, “but I feel like I turned a corner somewhere in my jiu-jitsu, and I’ve just been hitting a lot of guillotines. Putting guys out in the gym, just really confident in it. But Eddie’s an old dog that knows every trick. The first one was really close, my hand started slipping, he had an arm in to stop me from locking my legs and stretching my body in the position I wanted to.”

Ultimately he gave up on the choke, but gave credit to his wrestling, which he feels is underrated. Because of that, “I wasn’t scared to give up position.”

As for that 12-6 elbow (which Poirier admitted didn’t land), Poirier knows some will use it as an excuse to discredit the victory. After all, he was in trouble until that stand-up. To the critics, Poirier said that “People are always going to point to something. These checks are going to cash, and I have another win on my record. And another step closer to fighting for a world title. So they can point and say what they want, I’m laughing all the way to the bank.”

Noting MMA is “a crazy, crazy sport,” Poirier said he hoped Khabib-Conor happens soon, because he plans to be next. Though he was non-committal on a time frame.

As for the feud with Alvarez, despite some words exchanged between Poirier and Eddie’s team following the fight, the beef is over. “I apologized to everybody after we got to the back, to Eddie, to Mark, to all his other cornermen. I shouldn’t have done that, that was very immature,” he said of what transpired in the heat of the moment.

Recalling an odd moment during the fight, Poirier said that “weird thing is, when I had the guillotine, he was trying to drive up my body, and stuck his finger in my ear. He was pulling my head down, and the ref warned him, and he put his finger right back in my ear.”

No fluke in Dustin’s opinion. “This is an old dog that knows a lot of tricks. I don’t want to say somebody’s a dirty fighter, but the first fight, you kneed me, the second fight, you tried to elbow me illegally, and you give me a wet willie? We’ve got to draw the line somewhere,” he said, eliciting a laugh. Despite the tactics, Poirier addmitted “I’m a fan. I’m a fan of [Alvarez] for a long time, back to his fights in Dream. I’ve been watching the guy a long time.” And where ever Alvarez goes (his contract was up at UFC Calgary), Poirier will continue to watch.

“Even though he stuck his finger in my ear tonight, he penetrated my ear, I still respect the guy now,” he added later. “Because we spoke out back after the fight, and he said a couple things to me. I respect the guy.”

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