Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC [Getty Images]
Their first encounter was a blockbuster with an anticlimactic ending. Now comes the sequel.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA lightweight titleholder Eddie Alvarez will face Dustin Poirier in the UFC on Fox 30 headliner this Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. It serves as a rematch of their May 2017 battle, which resulted in a no-contest after Alvarez connected with a series of accidental but illegal knee strikes in the second round.
A Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu representative, Alvarez last competed at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, when he knocked out onetime World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje in the third round of their showdown at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The 33-year-old Philadelphia native has secured 23 of his 29 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission and owns notable wins over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki, Joachim Hansen, Pat Curran, Michael Chandler, Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos.
Poirier, 29, finds himself in the heart of his competitive prime. The American Top Team standout will enter the cage with the wind of a two-fight winning streak in his sails, having defeated Pettis and Gaethje in consecutive outings. Like Alvarez, he has a well-established reputation as a dynamic offensive fighter: Poirier boasts 18 finishes among his 23 career wins, 12 of them inside one round.
UFC on Fox 30 “Alvarez vs. Poirier 2” — which airs live on Fox at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT — also features a featherweight co-main event pairing former champion Jose Aldo with Jeremy Stephens, a women’s strawweight affair pitting onetime titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk against Tecia Torres and a lightweight confrontation matching Olivier Aubin-Mercier with Alexander Hernandez.
Other bouts to monitor: Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono, Alexis Davis vs. Katlyn Chookagian and Dustin Ortiz vs. Matheus Nicolau Pereira. UFC Fight Pass (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) will carry a portion of the undercard.
Those with an appetite for regional competition can find Legacy Fighting Alliance 46 on the menu on Friday in Newport News, Virginia. Airing live on AXS-TV at 9 p.m. ET, the event features a battle for the welterweight crown, as champion James Nakashima takes on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series alum Kyle Stewart. Both men own undefeated records, Nakashima at 8-0 and Stewart at 10-0.
Meanwhile, the fate of the interim welterweight title will hang in the balance when Martin Nguyen confronts Kevin Belingon in the One Championship “Reign of Kings” headliner on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Nguyen already holds championships at 145 and 155 pounds. The event streams live and free to the One Super App at 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT, available on Android and iOS platforms.
Looking ahead, Season 2 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series will stage its seventh card of the summer on July 31. The five-fight event streams to UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. All 10 competitors on the card — Legacy Fighting Alliance middleweight champion Ian Heinisch is among the notables — will be vying for a UFC contract.