Eddie Alvarez has always been one of the fighters on the outside of the UFC, but has never really looked in the window to see what he might be missing. The title is actually misleading to some extent, because should he decide to go into the UFC and if he manages a couple of wins, he'll be right back in the top 15 or so. He's only 28 after all, and won't be shunned into retirement or grade-z level shows if Aoki defeats him again. Should he lose back to back fights, he'll be knocked so far down the proverbial ladder that Sisyphus would sympathize with him.
But does Eddie even care? There's a really good chance that I don't think he does.
This is somewhat anathema to a lot of sports fans (myself included), in that if you aren't trying to be the best at what you do, in some ways, what's the point? Yes, people realize their limitations and can sometimes conclude that they'll never get that top shot, so why not just have fun and try and maybe win Fights of the Night, Chris Lytle style. I get that. What frustrates me more, is that Eddie seemed to back off without having hit his limits. I completely understand his rationale for doing so, which I'll get into in a bit, but I've got the feeling that one day when people talk about Eddie Alvarez, there'll be a lot of "what ifs" and "might have beens", and that's got to dig into him even if it's just a little.
Please check out the rest of this over at HeadKickLegend, including quotes from Eddie and the inevitable comparisons to other fighters not under the Zuffa umbrella (like Fedor).