Last Saturday (July 28, 2018) yet another controversial call occurred when Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier shared the UFC’s Octagon.
“The Underground King” had Poirier mounted as he sat up against the cage. Alvarez’s coach, Mark Henry, then called for his fighter to throw elbows – so he obliged. When Alvarez threw those elbows, however, he threw them in the illegal 12-to-6 motion.
As a result, the action was stopped, Alvarez was warned and he lost top position. The fight was stood back up and Alvarez was subsequently knocked out minutes later.
Henry spoke to MMA Fighting about the incident recently. He said that he feels as if he put a “black eye” on his team after calling for the elbows last weekend:
“I felt bad that I put a black eye on our team,” Henry told MMA Fighting. “It’s pretty disappointing. All those other fights just went down the toilet bowl quick. I was so proud of our team and I felt like I put a damper on it for everybody.”
Before each fight referees speak to the fighters that they’ll be officiating for backstage. They go down the list of what is and isn’t legal under the parameters set by the local commission. Henry continued to kick himself for the elbow call because they were warned about 12-to-6 elbows beforehand:
“You just see something, you’re gonna trust your corner,” Henry said. “I’m not an idiot. The referee, every single place, if they’re your referee, they go down a list of what not to do. And that elbow 12-to-6 is 100 percent on that list every single time. It’s equivalent to me telling Eddie to knee him in the balls. I’m not gonna do that and have him get stood up. Why am I gonna make that call? It’s stupid.”
Henry said that he motioned to Alvarez to throw the elbow the correct way the second time he called for it, but by that time the damage was already done. He noted that he couldn’t have shouted at Alvarez because there’s no way he would’ve heard him:
“I would have wanted an elbow,” Henry said. “I just don’t know how else I could have conveyed it. ‘Inside elbow?’ He wouldn’t have heard me, but on the second one I did, you can see me touching the inside of my elbow. I don’t even remember doing it, but I guess I had his attention. But I guess it was too late.”