MMA fans know the long journey Eddie Alvarez took to the UFC. The long time Bellator standout became the new UFC lightweight champion on Thursday when he defeated Rafael Dos Anjos with a first round TKO. The fight capped off the start of the UFC’s “International Fight Week” which will climax with UFC 200 on Saturday.
Alvarez (28-4) entered the fight with Dos Anjos on a two fight win streak and since entering the UFC back in 2014, he has had a steady diet of top five lightweights. His debut came against Donald Cerrone at 178. Alvarez would go on to lose that bout but then rattled off wins against Gilbert Melendez and former champion Anthony Pettis.
The event took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and aired exclusively on the UFC Fight Pass app.
The bout started with action from both men. Dos Anjos looked to have the early advantage as he landed early on and forced Alvarez to utilize his take downs to slow the hand of the champion. Alvarez was unsuccessful his in attempts but his fortunes turned when he landed a vicious left hand that sent the champion stumbling back towards the cage.
Alvarez sensed the finished and swarmed Dos Anjos with a series of punches. The champion did not fall to the canvas but he absorbed a tremendous about of punishment on his feet. Referee Herb Dean was forced to step in and stop Alvarez from dishing out anymore punches. The fight was stopped at 3:49 in the very first round.
The night also saw heavyweight standout Derrick Lewis earn the biggest win of his career as he defeated veteran Roy Nelson via a split decision. Below are the full results from UFC Fight Night:
Main Card Results:
- Lightweight Championship: Eddie Alvarez def. Rafael dos Anjos via TKO at 3:49 of Round 1
- Derrick Lewis def. Roy Nelson via split decision
- Alan Jouban def. Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision
- Joseph Duffy def. Mitch Clarke via submission at 0:25 of Round 1
Under Card Results:
- Alberto Mina def. Mike Pyle via knockout at 1:17 of Round 2
- John Makdessi def. Mehdi Baghdad via split decision
- Anthony Birchak via Dileno Lopes via split decision
- Pedro Munhoz def. Russell Doane via submission at 2:08 of Round 1
- Felipe Arantes def. Jerrod Sanders via verbal submission at 1:39 of Round 2
- Gilbert Burns def. Lukasz Sajewski via submission at 4:57 of Round 1
- Marco Beltran def. Reginaldo Vieira via submission at 3:04 of Round 2
- Vicente Luque def. Alvaro Herrera via submission at 3:52 of Round 2