Eddie Alvarez Hands Justin Gaethje First Career Loss in Absolute War at UFC 218

Eddie Alvarez finishes Justin Gaethje after an absolute war at UFC 218

Eddie Alvarez went into Saturday night looking for the title of ‘most violent’ fighter in the UFC.

He won’t have a title around his waist but Alvarez certainly earned that moniker after becoming the first person to not only defeat Justin Gaethje but he did it by third round TKO after an absolute war in Detroit.

As soon as the fight started, Gaethje targeted Alvarez’s lead leg with kicks and he blasted away at the former lightweight champion, putting a giant red welt on his thigh almost immediately.

Alvarez wasn’t going to be deterred, however, and he started firing back with shot to the body throughout the opening round, digging into Gaethje’s ribs over and over again.

The back and forth exchanges continued throughout the second round with Gaethje blasting Alvarez with big looping shots as they exchanged punched. Alvarez would then fire back with just as much venom behind his punches refusing to back down while winging shots with Gaethje.

The damage started to mount on Alvarez’s face as swelling grew to enormous proportions just below his eye and above his mouth in what could have been a fractured cheekbone.

Still, Alvarez didn’t let the swelling stop him from going after Gaethje with everything in his arsenal and with just over a minute left in the fight he connected with a huge knee that dropped the former World Series of Fighting champion to the ground.

Alvarez raised his hands thinking the fight was over but he ended up throwing a few more shots until referee Herb Dean finally stepped into stop the carnage.

The end came at 3:59 in the third round.

Afterwards, Alvarez not only celebrated becoming the first person to hand Gaethje a loss but also picking up a huge win in the dangerously deep lightweight division.

“There’s many titles, all the titles not getting defended. All these fans wanna see who’s the most violent — that’s all they care about,” Alvarez said following his jaw-dropping victory.

With the win, Alvarez jumps right back into the thick of the title race as he’ll likely enjoy some well earned time off after this fight before booking his next bout in 2018.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.