Alvarez fell to Poirier by second round TKO after the fighters were reset in the center of the Octagon following a foul that was committed on the ground.
Alvarez unleashed an illegal 12 to 6 elbow strike on the ground — bringing his elbow straight up and then straight down onto Poirier — and referee Marc Goddard paused the action, admonished the former champion for the foul and took the position away from him as a result.
Seconds later, Poirier unleashed a barrage of punches that stunned and eventually finished Alvarez by TKO.
Upon replay of the controversial foul, Alvarez’s head coach Mark Henry could be seen in his corner calling for the strike and motioning the 12 to 6 elbow before the former UFC champion threw it.
On Wednesday, Alvarez released a lengthy statement reacting to the TKO loss where he stated that he places no blame on Goddard or Henry for the way the fight unfolded.
“There are no grey areas in fighting — one man will lose and the other will win, this is why I love this game,” Alvarez wrote on Instagram. “Controversial calls, judging, and fan support can always add to the drama but in the end one will stand and one will fall. Hats off to Dustin and his team, he stayed calm under pressure and fought beautifully this makes us 1-1.
“In no way will I judge [Marc] Goddard harshly. We have the same job! He has to make decisions in split seconds just like I do, and he makes them with my health and my opponents in mind. What’s done is done. As for Mark Henry calling for an elbow in the heat of the moment. An angled elbow is an incredible shot from the position I was in, it’s actually the only shot you can throw. We simply had a miscommunication, it happens in war more often than not, this was a case of “friendly fire” and we ended up on the losing end of this battle. But let’s remember Ricardo [Almeida] and Mark are also responsible for my UFC world title, and wins over some of the greatest fighters in the UFC. He’s the hardest worker on our team, obsessive, detailed, and pushes us all to understand the opportunity we have in front of is on a world stage. He’s my coach, friend, and been a mentor of mine for longer than most of you know.”
As far as what comes next, Alvarez is at an interesting point in his career as his bout against Poirier was the final fight on his current deal with the UFC.
While Alvarez expressed hope that he could reach a new agreement with the UFC to stay with the promotion, nothing has been decided as of yet.
“Losing is never satisfying,” Alvarez stated. “I don’t lose often but when I do I grow the most as a person/fighter. Adjustments will be made, if anything this loss will add to the joy of my next victory! I want to thank my team, coaches, my family, and everyone who supports me in this journey. My family especially, the sacrifice falls on the back of my wife and our children. We experience great joy in our victories and incredible pain in our losses but our only other option is to avoid the experience and feel nothing at all .
“We are grateful to be able to fight every time the walk is made to the Octagon, and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to make that walk again. Thank you UFC. I was brought here, not to win, but to entertain. Are you not entertained?”
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