While UFC 211’s main card fights featured fireworks, one bout in the prelims was marred by controversy. It was a déjà vu of UFC 210’s Gegard Mousasi-Chris Weidman ending, when Dustin Poirier became on the receiving end of knee strikes from Eddie Alvarez as he was down on the mat.
In total, Alvarez threw three knee strikes to Poirier’s head, as the latter had his right hand on the mat. The first two were partially defended, but the third one was what put Poirier completely down and ultimately resulted in the fight being stopped.
The state of Texas has not yet adopted the new unified rules of MMA, which is why the said stipulation on striking downed opponents stands. Referee Herb Dean called the fight a No Contest after the second round, from the notion that Alvarez’s strikes were unintentional. Many other observers, including Daniel Cormier who was at the broadcast booth, believe Alvarez should have been disqualified instead.
During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White addressed the situation. According to him, former CEO Lorenzo Fertitta immediately got in touch with him and urged for the implementation of instant replays.
“Lorenzo Fertitta texted me tonight and said, ‘You guys have got to get instant replay, because that was the wrong call.’ We need to work on that,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “He’s still telling me what to do.”
White also refused to pin some blame on the Texas Athletic Commission, and simply recognized the aspects they would need to work on to avoid such instances to happen again.
“I don’t want to limit myself to where I’m going to go, but we’ve just got to figure this stuff out. It’s crazy. You’ve got to remember, the sport is 17 years old,” White said. “There’s a lot of things that need to be fixed. This whole sport is a work in progress.”
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor also had something to say about the fight.
Raise both their and hands and fuck it. Good fight.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 14, 2017