Eddie Alvarez proved his worth as a combat sports athlete once again by achieving victory in his debut bare-knuckle bout against Chad Mendes. The two ex-UFC fighters engaged in a fierce altercation, with each scoring two knockdowns during the five-round back-and-forth contest. While the judges awarded Bella Vista a split decision, with two scorecards of 47-46 in his favour and one of 47-46 in favour of Mendes, it was Alvarez who emerged victorious in his first bare-knuckle encounter.
“This feels fantastic,” exclaimed Alvarez after the fight. “Chad is tough as nails. His punches are devastating. This was a brutal affair. I can confidently say this sport will be the best one out there. BKFC is here to stay.”
During the opening exchanges, Alvarez aimed to capitalise on his height advantage, using a long jab to direct his shots. However, Mendes was quick to respond with his own powerful left- and right-hand punches, leaving a gash beneath his opponent’s eye. In the second round, Mendes dealt the first knockdown of the bout, dropping Alvarez with a ferocious-left hook.
Despite the setback, Alvarez regained his composure, resuming his jab-based strategy, while Mendes switched to a different style, complementing his stiff uppercuts with surging hooks.
Heading into the final round, Alvarez was struggling to hide the damage to his face, bleeding from a laceration above his eye and his nose. With the prospect of defeat looming, Alvarez intensified his efforts, unleashing a flurry of strikes that toppled Mendes to the canvas. Although Mendes swiftly regained his feet, he remained unsteady, allowing Alvarez to connect with a left-right hook combination that saw both fighters drop to the floor.
The referee declared it a knockdown, resulting in a draw on the scorecards.
Mendes praised Alvarez’s performance, commending his opponent’s resilience and skill before announcing a retirement from combat sport.
Mendes retires from MMA with a list of accomplishments, including the WEC featherweight championship, challenged for the UFC Featherweight Championship twice, and top featherweight contender.