Eddie Alvarez is one of the most prominent fighters in the world to have never fought in the UFC… yet.
He’s fought around the globe, holding numerous titles. Alvarez has amassed a 24-3 record, fighting the very best fighters available to him wherever he has been.
He most recently was the Bellator lightweight champion before losing the belt to Michael Chandler in what was widely regarded as the 2011 Fight of the Year. Alvarez then bounced back with first-round finishes of Shinya Aoki and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.
Alvarez has now come to an end and the question on everyone’s lips is, of course, “Is the UFC interested?”
How could they not be? The UFC always wants to have the best fighters in the world under its roof and Eddie Alvarez was easily fit that description.
“Eddie Alvarez's contract is up, we're gonna talk to him soon,” said UFC president Dana White when asked about Alvarez following UFC 153.
Of course, there has been a lot of chatter recently about matching rights and the details of fighter contracts, so the UFC may have to wait it out if Alvarez has such stipulations to abide by.
“I don't know what the stipulations on his contract are, whether we can talk to him now or there's more time,” added White. “But we'll dive in and we'll see what happens. We're definitely interested in him and we have been for a while.”
For his part, after he knocked out Shinya Aoki, knowing his Bellator contract was winding down, Alvarez has been elusive about his future. Some of his sentiments seemed to lean towards wanting to fight for the UFC without bruising his current bosses.
“It’s the financial situation, as well as my ability to grow in whatever company I’m fighting for,” Alvarez told MMAWeekly.com about his future after knocking out Aoki. “Money does mean a lot, but I also want to be able to grow in whatever company I’m at, which means I want to be able to fight the best guys in the world.”
That’s going to be difficult to achieve at Bellator. If you’re not the champion, there are limited options outside of jumping back in the tournament and fighting your way back to a title shot, plus, much of the world’s top MMA talent is already under contract with the UFC.
So as long as Alvarez is willing to sift through any contractual obligations to Bellator, it looks more than probable that we’ll see him headed to the Octagon at some point in the near future.
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