Eddie Alvarez has accomplished a lot in his combat sports career and now he can add a win in a bare-knuckle fight to his resume.
“The Underground King” went to war with fellow UFC veteran Chad Mendes in a back-and-forth battle over five rounds that saw both fighters land two knockdowns. When it was over, the judges returned a split decision with Alvarez getting a pair of 47-46 scorecards with the third official handing down a 47-46 card for Mendes.
That was still enough for Alvarez to get the win in his BKFC debut.
“This is a pleasure,” Alvarez said. “Chad is a f****** dog. I did not expect that. The man hits crazy hard. This is a dog fight in here. I’m convinced right now this is going to be the best sport in the world. BKFC is here to stay.”
In his first bare-knuckle fight, Alvarez was looking to measure his shots while throwing out a long jab to employ his reach advantage but Mendes quickly answered back with some powerful punches of his own. While Mendes had a cut opened under his right eye, he blasted Alvarez with a huge right hand that cracked the former UFC lightweight champion on the chin.
As the second round got started, Mendes unloaded a nasty left hand that dropped Alvarez to the canvas for the first knockdown in the fight. Alvarez got back to his feet for the mandatory eight count as he looked for a fresh restart in the center of the ring.
Whenever Alvarez rushed forward, Mendes was quick to meet him with stiff uppercuts as he continued gunning for the knockout with every punch thrown.
Alvarez finally got his payback with a short shot that briefly dropped Mendes to the ground, although the veteran featherweight bounced up almost out of frustration that he got caught by the punch. As he continued, Alvarez was still pawing ahead with his jab while Mendes was ducking his head, exploding forward and launching huge hooks.
With the fight facing into the fifth and final round, Alvarez was starting to wear the damage on his face with blood trickling down from a cut over his eye as well as gushing from his nose. With the fight potentially slipping away, Alvarez opened up with a flurry of punches that overwhelmed Mendes as he fell to the canvas.
It took Mendes a moment to get back to his feet but as soon as the fight restarted, he launched a left-right combination that wobbled Alvarez as he sat down for a split second, which the referee ruled as a knockdown to even the score between the fighters.
A battle through all five rounds, Mendes offered congratulations to Alvarez afterwards before announcing that Saturday night would serve as the final fight of his career.
“Eddie is a freaking beast. Hats off to Eddie,” Mendes said. “I just wanted to say thank you to all the fans. I’m officially hanging them up tonight. Thanks for all the awesome memories.”
Mendes retires after a memorable career spent in both the UFC and WEC before returning for a pair of bare-knuckle fights that ends with his war against Alvarez at BKFC 41.