Eddie Alvarez answering for hugely controversial fouls really is something
Leave it to Eddie Alvarez to give a very honest and insightful answer to a run-of-the-mill question.
Eddie Alvarez usually gives that little bit more when he's asked a question.
'Why haven't the UFC stripped Conor McGregor yet?' resulted in a completely correct prediction on how the promotion would remove him as lightweight champion. There was some actual meat in his breakdown of McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov too. So, it will come as no surprise that his assessment of the fight-ending sequence of his first bout with Dustin Poirier is also a doozy.
In case you don't remember how that bout ended, let us give you a very quick recap.
"I'm not a dirty fighter"
After nine minutes of pure violence, the fight of the year candidate came to a very frustrating conclusion. Despite what Joe Rogan's commentary may lead you to believe, all three knees Alvarez landed at the fight's conclusion were illegal.
The fight took place in Texas, whose commission had not adopted the new rules on grounded opponents at the time of the fight. So Poirier's fingers on the mat meant he was grounded when all those knees landed. Had it taken place in Las Vegas, for example, only the last knee would have been illegal because Poirier fell to his knee. The new rule states:
A grounded fighter is defined as: Any part of the body, other than a single hand and soles of the feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor. A single knee, arm, makes the fighter grounded without having to have any other body part in touch with the fighting area floor. At this time, kicks or knees to the head will not be allowed.
Herb Dean ruled it as a No Contest. This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way who were calling for a Poirier win via disqualification. Dean's justification was that he deemed the fouls to be accidental.
Raise both their and hands and fuck it. Good fight.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 14, 2017
"Why did I?"
When Luke Thomas asked Eddie Alvarez on the MMA Hour why he threw those illegal knees, 'The Underground King' gave a typically intriguing answer.
"Why did I (throw those knees)? Oh man, that's so silly of a question only because I would have had to been thinking clearly. If I was thinking clearly, I wouldn't be good at fighting."
Alvarez explained why he finds questions such as these silly. However, he broke it down in a very informative way free of any patronising tone.
"The funniest thing's when a commentator says to a fighter, 'What were you thinking here?' I find that to be a funny question because sometimes the fighter actually answers it like they're a lot smarter than they are.'Oh, I seen him go left, so I went here.' As if they are a lot smarter than they really are."
"The truth is, almost everything we do inside of a cage is done instinctual. There is no thought involved, no thought pattern, no anything. It's an instinct, you do it and I did it and it is what it is. I'm sorry for what happened, but I'm just acting instinctual in there. I'm just fighting, I'm trying to survive."
Refreshing, insightful, honest. That's pretty much par for the course for Alvarez.