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TUF 26 coaches Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje to fight at UFC 218

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Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje had to deal with each other for a whole season on The Ultimate Fighter 26, and now they have an official date with which to settle their differences.

Sources confirmed to MMA Fighting that Alvarez (28-5, 1 NC) and Gaethje (18-0) will meet in a lightweight bout at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. The bout was first reported by BJPenn.com.

Alvarez and Gaethje served as opposing head coaches on TUF 26, which is currently airing on FOX Sports 1 after being filmed earlier this year. The winner of this season’s tournament will become the first UFC women’s flyweight champion.

This will be Alvarez’s chance to pick up his first win since July 2016, when he knocked out Rafael dos Anjos to win the UFC lightweight title. His next fight saw him lose via TKO to Conor McGregor at UFC 205, and that was followed up by a bout vs. Dustin Poirier that was ruled a no-contest when Alvarez landed a pair of illegal knees to a grounded Poirier. Excluding the no-contest, Alvarez has a 3-2 record inside the Octagon.

Gaethje made a spectacular UFC debut this past July, engaging in a slugfest against veteran Michael Johnson at the TUF 25 Finale. After almost 10 minutes of back-and-forth action, “The Highlight” used his trademark power to put Johnson away with just 12 seconds remaining in Round 2. The 28-year-old lightweight previously held the World Series of Fighting 155-pound title from January 2014-December 2016 before forfeiting the belt when he signed with the UFC this past May.

UFC 218 will be headlined by a featherweight championship bout between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar.

An updated UFC 218 fight card can be seen below (bout order to be determined):

  • Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • David Teymur vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Felice Herrig vs. Cortney Casey
  • Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan


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