Eddie Alvarez’ Coach Admits Blame For Controversial 12-6 Elbow

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Top-ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier scored perhaps the biggest win of his UFC career when he ended his rivalry with former champ Eddie Alvarez in the main event of last weekend’s (Sat., July 28, 2018) UFC on FOX 30 from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

However, like their oft-discussed first meeting that ended in a no contest, it wasn’t without some controversy, as Alvarez landed an illegal 12-6 elbow while he had Poirier mounted against the fence. Referee Marc Goddard, after witnessing two prior fouls from Alvarez, decided it was time to take away “The Underground King’s” position rather than issue a warning, a decision many argued changed the tide of the fight for good.

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Poirier opened up with a gorgeous fight-ending sequence when they were stood up, and while he wouldn’t call Alvarez a dirty fighter, he did believe there was a line that had to be drawn at some point in regards to respecting the rules.

Today, however, we’ve received some new insight into the strange situation in terms of what happened. Alvarez’ longtime coach Mark Henry revealed on today’s episode of “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” that it was indeed his fault Alvarez threw the illegal strike, as he signaled that he wanted elbows from his fighter the wrong way:

“I wanted to tell him (Alvarez) that I wanted elbows and I gave him the wrong signal. The referee always tells fighters and coaches about no 12-6 elbows. It was my fault, I’m not an idiot. I gave the wrong signal.”

It was a strange occurrence from one of MMA’s most respected coaches, and he continued to go off the beaten path when he admitted that he ‘wasn’t surprised’ Poirier knocked out his former champion. In his opinion, Poirier is so accurate and well-coached that he wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually wins the title:

“Dustin is one of the most precise strikers in the UFC. He’s a beast. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on to win a title.”

Interesting. Many were quick to jump on Henry’s back online and say he sounded more like Poirier’s coach than Alvarez’. Indeed it’s a strange scenario where a coach admits he gave a top fighter the wrong signal for a strike and it resulted in an illegal one, especially one that changed the course of a high-profile fight as clearly as this one.

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Is it time for Alvarez to seek a new camp, or was it just a bad night for the otherwise decorated trainer?