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Not too long ago the MMA version of “hipsters” would argue that all of the world’s best fighters weren’t under the ZUFFA umbrella, but as time passed the fighters that symbolized the anti-establishment attitude of the “hispsters” didn’t pass on the money the UFC showed them. More and more of the world’s top fighters have signed with UFC, thus diluting the talent outside of the world’s number one Mixed Martial Arts organization.
Despite the fact that the UFC has done an excellent job of putting together the best roster of mixed martial artists in the world, there is still a laundry list of fighters that I’d love to see get a crack in the UFC. The list is filled with prospects, veterans, and fighters that just have me scratching my head because they haven’t been brought into the UFC (or Strikeforce) yet. The latter is the smallest category of the list, but it features some of the best fighters in the world, one of those fighters being Eddie Alvarez.
Even before signing a Bellator contract that’d lock him up for a good 3 and half years, Eddie Alvarez was a top lightweight that had impressive victories on his resume over Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Nonetheless, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native was not signed in 2009 by the UFC, but now in 2012 and eight victories later, Eddie Alvarez is once again a free agent.
The only blemish on Eddie Alvarez’s record in the past three and a half years was against Michael Chandler who took his Bellator Lightweight Championship at Bellator 58 after submitting him in the fourth round. Although he lost, if you asked a person that saw the fight between two of the world’s top lightweights about the fight about it they’d say it was anything but a blemish on the record of Alvarez.
Literally it was a loss, but due to the fight being so exciting, so back-and-forth, so dramatic, and just so awesome Eddie Alvarez’s stock still rose after the loss.
In a couple of years, history may look back at that fight being the best thing to ever happen to Eddie Alvarez. After completely outclassing his opponents in Bellator, Michael Chandler was the first fighter that made Alvarez feel mortal.
His next fight against Shinya Aoki, a re-match from their fight in 2008 where Aoki beat him with a heel hook submission in the first round, would show that Alvarez stands up in the face of adversity as he dominated Aoki with his most impressive fight in his career to date. By no means is Aoki a striking genius, but the way Alvarez thrashed Aoki on the feet during their fight was the definition of making a statement.
The first round TKO victory over Shinya Aoki confirmed my belief that Eddie Alvarez needs to be competing at the highest level and him being a free agent now gives the UFC has the ability to make that happen.
If Eddie Alvarez continues to bring the intensity he had in his last fight against Aoki then the sky is the limit for him in the UFC. His knockout power, technical boxing, and talented wrestling skills can put a way a lot of the world’s best lightweights.
He’d be a breath of fresh air to a division that has been filled with re-matches. Aside from his talent in the cage, Alvarez is also a captivating personality that would translate with a lot of MMA fans. Alvarez could easily become one of the big stars in MMA if the marketing genius that is the UFC gets behind him.
His fighting style is another positive as he always brings the fight and a boring Eddie Alvares fight is a dime in a dozen. The dream fights are endless, just imagine Alvarez versus Anthony Pettis, Jim Miller, or Clay Guida. If you have a vivid imagination then fight of the year type of fights just took place in your mind.
Signing Eddie Alvarez should be a no brainer for the UFC. It’d kill two birds with one stone as not only would they accomplish the task of signing a talented fighter, but they would also take away one of the top stars from their top competitor, Bellator Fighting Championships.
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