The thought of the 29-year old Philadelphia native in the UFC is not a strange thought. Many MMA fans have felt that the UFC is where he deserves to be. Being one of the best lightweights not yet signed to the promotion, Alvarez has dominated outside competition – that is, besides one guy, Michael Chandler. Chandler has been the only man to beat Alvarez in the last 4 years. Chandler and Alvarez are set to rematch tonight in what should be a pivotal bout for Eddie.
Another loss to Michael Chandler at Bellator 106 hurts Alvarez’s stock tremendously. Why would the UFC sign a guy who can’t beat “Bellator-level competition”? In the eyes of the UFC, only they hold the true best fighters on the planet. While Alvarez has proven himself against outside competition time and time again, he needs to pass the test of Michael Chandler before he can really claim a spot among the fighters in the UFC.
The 155lb division in the UFC is as stacked as its ever been. With a new champion recently crowned, a still-top level former champion, and two former Strikeforce champions clawing their way to the top, the lightweight division doesn’t have much room for another top contender. Eddie Alvarez’s introduction to the UFC wouldn’t have near as much of an effect now as it would have a few years ago when the lightweight division was in need of star power. I know the UFC gave Alvarez an offer earlier this year, which went to court in an all-out legal battle between Bellator, Alvarez, and the UFC, but I wouldn’t expect a much larger offer coming any time soon – especially if he finds himself on the wrong side of victory tonight.
However, Eddie Alvarez’s position isn’t all that bad. If he wins, he redeems his earlier loss to Chandler and could arguably spark the pursuit of a rubber match. Depending on how exciting tonight’s fight is, a plausible rubber match between the two could be Bellator’s largest event ever. With that said, having Eddie Alvarez in the UFC could put a twist on that. A match-up between Alvarez and Chandler would be desired, but imagine all the possibilities in the UFC that he would have. Thinking of names such as Diego Sanchez, Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, etc. it makes you really want to see what Alvarez is capable of. He’ll have a chance to show it tonight against Michael Chandler, and prove that he deserves to be in a larger tank with much larger fish.