Wednesday was supposed to be huge night for Asian mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship.

It was the organization’s American television debut, with a card headlined by former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez, a Philadelphia native.

Eddie fought around 10 p.m., but unfortunately his matchup against Iuri Lapicus went terribly wrong, with Alvarez disqualified in the first round after the referee deemed that punches were illegally landing to the back of the head.

There didn’t look to be any malicious intent on the part of Alvarez, who had Lapicus tied up on the ground and  originally landed a couple of blows to the ear, which are legal.

Then this happened:

After the ref intervenes, you can hear Alvarez saying “no that’s his ear,” but when Lapicus was unable to continue, Eddie was DQ’d and the fight was over, after just 70 seconds.

A distraught Alvarez was emotional after the fight, apologizing for the result while reiterating that he was not trying to do anything cheap or dirty. Most of the complaints from MMA fans centered on the idea that the ref could have or should have stepped in earlier, instead of letting those extra strikes land. That perhaps would have saved the fight before Lapicus took the extra blows to the neck area.

Later, ONE’s CEO, Chatri Sityodtong provided an update on Lapicus and gave his take on the matter:


“The problem is that there were 4-5 illegal blows. We reviewed it three times. Eddie didn’t have visibility, because I know Eddie didn’t mean to do it. We just got word that Iuri is in stable condition. Cat scan results haven’t come in yet, but he’s in stable condition and his vitals are good.”

Afterward, Alvarez was struggling to find the right words:

Just an unfortunate situation all around. Bummer to see Eddie on American television again, then this happens.