In the ever-evolving world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), few names resonate as powerfully as Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. Alvarez, the former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, has recently signalled his eagerness for a trilogy fight against Poirier, despite a hiatus from the sport that has spanned over two years. This forthcoming attitude from Alvarez may suggest that one of the most intriguing rivalries in MMA history could be on the brink of its final chapter.
Alvarez and Poirier first crossed paths at UFC 211 in May 2017. The bout, although electric, ended in an unfortunate and anticlimactic ‘No Contest’ ruling when Alvarez landed an illegal knee on Poirier late in the second round. Approximately one year later, the duo reconvened for a UFC Fight Night main event. This sequel witnessed Poirier decisively stopping Alvarez with a second-round TKO. The bout also served as Alvarez’s farewell performance in the UFC, as he subsequently ventured into ONE Championship in 2019.
The prospect of a trilogy bout seems to be gaining traction, based on a recent social media exchange between the two fighters. In the tweet that has caught the attention of the MMA community, Alvarez stated, “You got it back in the 2nd fight, respect (fist) but let’s be real… I out dogged you the first match up. I’d def do it again if we rumbled a 3rd.”
Alvarez’s journey post-UFC has been marked by both challenges and triumphs. Competing under the banner of ONE Championship, Alvarez has had mixed outcomes across four fights. However, the 39-year-old veteran made headlines earlier this year when he debuted in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). He clinched a hard-fought split decision victory against former UFC title challenger Chad Mendes, illustrating that his fighting prowess remains undiminished.
Meanwhile, Poirier’s career has witnessed its own set of twists and turns. After claiming the interim lightweight belt in the wake of his rematch with Alvarez, Poirier lost to the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. Further, he fell short against Charles Oliveira in his second title bid in 2021. Poirier’s most recent bout against Justin Gaethje for the vacant BMF title also ended in defeat, as he was caught by a decisive head kick in the second round. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old has stated his aspiration to fight again before the year concludes.
Interestingly, Alvarez has also been contemplating a return to the UFC, and not just against Poirier. He has been open about considering a rubber match against another former opponent, Michael Chandler. Nevertheless, his exchange with Poirier on social media seems to have particularly struck a chord, adding a layer of intrigue to their ongoing rivalry. When responding to a discussion about who among Poirier, Chandler, and BMF champion Justin Gaethje was the most violent fighter, Alvarez was quick to claim, “beat them all,” prompting a terse response from Poirier: “not me cuh.”
The importance of a potential trilogy fight between Alvarez and Poirier cannot be overstated. Both athletes have demonstrated exceptional skill and resilience throughout their careers, and a third bout would offer them the platform to conclusively prove who is the superior fighter. Their previous matches have provided high-octane entertainment, and the third encounter promises to be a fitting finale.
The open question remains whether Poirier, still recuperating from his recent defeat to Gaethje, will opt to face Alvarez for a decisive third bout before year-end, as he wishes. And, on Alvarez’s end, will he succeed in “out-dogging” Poirier in what could be the final chapter of their storied rivalry?
The proposition of an Alvarez-Poirier trilogy is more than just another fight; it’s a narrative waiting for its concluding chapter. Both fighters have something to prove, a legacy to cement, and perhaps old scores to settle. While nothing is set in stone, the social media exchange between the two suggests a mutual interest that could culminate in an epic showdown.