The first time I saw Eddie Alvarez fighting, he was 8-0 and fighting on Bodog Fight’s Costa Rica Combat. Totally bizarre set-up but I also managed to catch Roy Nelson, Rosi Sexton, Jake Ellenberger, Chael Sonnen, Jake Shields and Brad Pickett on Bodog Fights so totally worth it and if you can catch any of these events online I wholly endorse blowing off work today to watch them. This was the first time I has seen any of these fighters but it was Eddie Alvarez who blew me away and I immediately loved the guy. I started watching Bellator because he was fighting, same with DREAM. I’m not going to pretend I’ve been following MMA since the NHB days like a lot of guys do. I started following MMA because of Eddie Alvarez.
You can only imagine how I felt when Shinya Aoki heel hooked his way to victory over my boy Eddie on that fateful New Years Eve. 92 seconds of intense emotions kicked my ass that night. I can now relate directly to how Gary LaPlante felt when Shogun lost to Jon Jones. Eddie has since avenged that loss but if things go well, he could be fighting in the UFC by the end of the year. He appeared on The MMA Hour to talk with Ariel Helwani about a number of things but most prominently about his contractual obligation with Bellator and how he feels about interest from the UFC. After informing us that his Bellator contract has either one fight or four months left, he had this to say on the interest from UFC.
“Yeah man, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in fighting for the UFC. You have to be crazy, that’s every fighters, that is the Mecca of all fighting and we all sort of strive for, to get in there and get that belt. I’m still obligated to a contract and I’m going to fulfill my obligations for the contract. I don’t even know what I can say or anything. I’m going to fulfill my obligations, and then we will figure out and maybe take bids from other companies. I made an agreement with Bjorn four years ago and I want to fulfill that agreement. I’m not trying to be a bad guy or anything, but like any employer, if you are with a company for four years, I think everybody that has been with Bellator so far, who have been there for four years have got a raise, you know? They have got their contracts renegotiated and got raises. I’m an employee of Bellator and I feel I have that right, after these four years they can assess my performance and what I have helped the company with and they can say if I deserve a raise or if I don’t, and at that point, maybe another company can step in and say what they are offering.”
I can’t say Eddie’s habit of getting rocked early and coming back to win would work out in the UFC, all I know is that I’ll most certainly be watching if it happens. [source]