With an undefeated record of 18-0 with 15 of those victories coming via knockout, Justin Gaethje was the heavy favourite heading into his UFC 218 clash with Eddie Alvarez.
Since losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 205, Eddie Alvarez had fought just once with his bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 211 being labelled a no contest after the ‘Underground King’ finished his opponent with illegal knees.
As such, his meeting with Justin Gaethje at UFC 218 was seen as two greats intersecting at very different points of their careers with Alvarez’s powers believed to be on the wane while Gaethje was being talked about as a serious contender for the lightweight title.
However, after an explosive encounter (that was later named as the fight of the night) Alvarez brutally handed the 29-year-old his first MMA loss with a vicious knee to the face.
Due to the severity of the finish, Gaethje was not interviewed after the fight, however, travelling in an ambulance after the event, the distraught 29-year-old struggled to hold back the tears as he reflected on the loss.
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) December 3, 2017
Showing his class after what was surely a traumatic moment for the previously undefeated fighter, Gaethje also sent out one sole tweet after the fight – congratulating Eddie Alvarez on his victory.
Congrats @Ealvarezfight thank you for the dance. That was fun. Win or lose, this hurts.
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) December 3, 2017