FanPost

The Lineal Titles of Eddie Alvarez: 2 Titles or 11?...Depends on your Feelings about Marijuana

Hello there lineal title fans! UFC 178 is absolutley stacked in more ways than one. Check out these numbers from a lineal title perspective:

  • 6 matches with lineal title implications
  • 1 unification bout
  • 7 lineal champions
  • 32 lineal titles on the line (...or is it 23?)

That last line is perhaps the most interesting. And, it all depends on your feelings about weed.

And that brings us to Eddie Alvarez. No, I'm not accusing Eddie of being a pot head...just bare with me.

Eddie Alvarez is as well traveled and universally accomplished as they come. He has competed at both Welterweight and Lightweight and has held titles in each division. A quick glance at the promotions he's been involved in shows that he's always been a level above the Regional scene: Reality Fighting, Bodog, Dream, Bellator. It's been a long road to the UFC, but he's finally arrived and I'm excited to see how he fairs against the very best of the LW division.

Before we get started, here's a quick reminder of the rules that I follow when researching these lineal titles...

Rules:

1. All titles trace back to the given promotion's inaugural championship, unless specifically noted

2. Only bouts contested within the weight class for which the belt was created are counted in the lineage. (See Rule 6 for exceptions)

3. If a title dead ends due to change of weight class or retirement, the next title issued by the promotion will be considered

4. I will refer to each issued title as an "iteration" of the belt (1st iteration, 2nd iterations, etc.)

5. No Contest rulings will be evaluated on a case by case basis (i.e. Diaz vs Gomi: Diaz tested positive for marijuana)

6. WMMA belts will be allowed to "migrate" to different weight classes due to more frequent weight class changes by female fighters

7. TUF fights are exhibitions and will generally not count in the lineage of a title. TUF 20 for the Strawweight title is an exception

First, the 2 titles that Eddie Alvarez is the undisputed holder of:

1. Bellator MMA

Lineal History: Eddie Alvarez (2009 Tournament Champion) → Michael Chandler → Eddie Alvarez

2. Hardcore Fighting Championship

Lineal History: Thomas Schulte (2007) → Eric Reynolds → Eddie Alvarez → Michael Chandler → Eddie Alvarez

But, there are 9 other lineal titles currently held by Anthony Pettis that have an alternate path to Eddie Alvarez. Let's look at these lineages...

Lightweight Lineal Titles with Disputed Lineage:

1. IVC

Lineal History: Rafael Cordeiro (1999) → Rumina SatoCaol Uno → Marcio Barbosa → Dokonjonosuke Mishima → Takanori GomiJoachim HansenVitor RibeiroTatsuya Kawajiri → Takanori Gomi → Marcus AurelioMitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge MasvidalGilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

2. Shooto

Lineal History: Caol Uno (1999) → Marcio Barbosa → Dokonjonosuke Mishima → Takanori Gomi → Joachim Hansen → Vitor Ribeiro → Tatsuya Kawajiri → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

* 4th iteration of the title. The first 2 dead end in retirement with the 3rd iteration ending in the hands of Rickson Gracie (by arm bar...of course).

3. King of the Cage

Lineal History: Charlie Kohler (2000) → Joe Hurley → Vitor Ribeiro → Tatsuya Kawajiri → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

4. Cage Warriors

Lineal History: Paul Sutherland (2003) → Dave Elliot → Jean Silva → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

5. Cage Rage

Lineal History: Gerald Strebendt (2003) → Josh ThomsonYves Edwards → Joachim Hansen → Hayato Sakurai → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

6. ZST

Lineal History: Marcus Aurelio (2003) → Dokonjonosuke Mishima → Yves Edwards → Joachim Hansen → Hayato Sakurai → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

7. Pride FC

Lineal History: Takanori Gomi (2005) → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Mazvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

8. Deep

Lineal History: Dokonjonosuke Mishima (2005) → Yves Edwards → Joachim Hansen → Hayato Sakurai → Takanori Gomi → Marcus Aurelio → Mitsuhiro Ishida → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

9. Shooto Pacific Rim

Lineal History: Mitsuhiro Ishida (2006) → Takanori Gomi → Nick Diaz → KJ Noons → Jorge Masvidal → Gilbert Melendez → Benson Henderson → Anthony Pettis

*2nd iteration, traces back to Mitsuhiro Ishida who won the title after Buko's inaugural version of the belt hit a dead end in the hands of Shoji Maruyama who moved down to FW

What all these lineages have in common is that they all depend on Nick Diaz's victory over Takanori Gomi in Pride. Of course, this is the fight that took place in Las Vegas and was eventually changed to an NC by the commission due to Nick Diaz testing positive for Marijuana. Personally, I don't feel like Nick Diaz smoking weed resulted in an advantage in this fight and I'd rather let the action in the ring determine the lineal title holder. So, I recognize the lineages above. However, if you prefer to respect the decision of the Las Vegas commission, then the title passes from Gomi t oSergey Golyaev instead. See the updated section of the lineage below.

Lineal History: ...Takanori Gomi → Sergey Golyaev → Eiji Mitsuoka → Kazunori Yokota → Tatsuya Kawajiri → Shinya Aoki → Eddie Alvarez

Whichever lineage you prefer, the exciting part is that we finally have a chance to unify these alternate paths in the UFC! One last fun fact that makes this more intriguing. Notice that the IVC and Shooto lineages are among those in question. Of the 57 active lineal titles in the LW division, these are the two earliest. Both the IVC title and the Shooto title were established in 1999. So, you could make an argument that whoever holds these titles is the true lineal champion in the division.

Here's a quick look at the other lineal title bouts on the UFC 178 card:

Dominick Cruz vs Mizugaki - 8 titles

Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor - 3 titles

Yoel Romero vs Tim Kennedy - 1 title

Patrick Cote vs Stephen Thompson - 1 title

And lastly, in the main event, Mighty Mouse will try to unify his 7 titles with Chris Cariaso's PXC Flyweight belt.

So, how do you stand on Weed BE?! Is Eddie the true champ or is it Pettis?

Lineal History Lesson (Lightweight Edition):

History of Lightweight Lineal Kings
Champion Titles % Unify
Anthony Pettis 35 61% 2014
Anthony Pettis 35 64% 2013
Benson Henderson 35 64% 2013
Gilbert Melendez 25 52% 2011
Gilbert Melendez 14 34% 2009
Shinya Aoki 13 32% 2009
KJ Noons 10 33% 2007
Nick Diaz 9 30% 2007
Takanori Gomi 9 39% 2006
Mitsuhiro Ishida 9 39% 2006
Marcus Aurelio 8 35% 2006
Takanori Gomi 8 40% 2005
Takanori Gomi 4 20% 2005
Hayato Sakurai 3 15% 2005
Joachim Hansen 3 15% 2005
Yves Edwards 3 15% 2005
Tatsuya Kawajiri 3 21% 2004
Vitor Ribeiro 3 27% 2003
Joachim Hansen 2 18% 2003
Takanori Gomi 2 33% 2002
Dokonjonosuke Mishima 2 50% 2000
Marcio Barbosa 2 50% 2000
Caol Uno 2 67% 1999
Rafael Cordeiro IVC - 1999 (Earliest Active)
Honorable Mention Titles
Jorge Masvidal 11
Frankie Edgar 9
Satoru Kitaoka 6
Mizuto Hirota 5
BJ Penn 4
Gray Maynard 4

Lineal Leaderboard:

# Name # of Titles Unify Big 10
1 Cain Velasquez 35 71% 100%
1 Anthony Pettis 35 61% 90%
2 Georges St. Piere 30 57% 80%
3 Chris Weidman 24 50% 70%
4 Jon Jones 22 53% 90%
5 Jose Aldo 18 40% 60%
6 Ronda Rousey 15 63% 90%
7 Dominick Cruz 8 21% 40%
8 Mighty Mouse 7 29% 70%
8 Patricio Freire 7 13% 20%
9 Bibiano Fernandes 6 18% 20%
9 Vitor Belfort 6 13% 20%
9 Jacare Souza 6 13% 10%
10 Claudia Gadelha 5 36% 80%
10 Ben Askren 5 9% 20%
- Marlon Moraes 4 13% 10%
- Gegard Mousasi 4 11% 10%
- Vitaly Minakov 4 8% 10%
- Rick Glenn 4 9% 0%
- Cyborg Justino 3 100% 100%
- Michelle Waterson 3 75% 100%
- Dustin Poirier 3 7% 20%
- Kalindra Faria 3 21% 0%
- Miesha Tate 3 13% 0%
- Emanuel Newton 3 8% 10%
- Alexander Gustafsson 3 8% 0%
- Tyron Woodley 3 6% 0%
- Khabib Nurmegomodov 3 5% 10%
* Ten fighters tied with two each 2 - -

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.