In the main event of Thursday's UFC Fight Night 90, former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (27-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) faces off against the reigning UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (25-7 MMA, 14-5 UFC). This lightweight class signals the beginning of an epic week of UFC title fights, which culminates with UFC 200 on Saturday. The official UFC rankings have Eddie Alvarez at #2 in the lightweight division and Rafael dos Anjos as #5 in the pound-for-pound rankings.
This fight has the makings of a classic. Don't be fooled by his recent performances, Eddie Alvarez has the ability to put on amazing fights and Rafael dos Anjos will be looking to further showcase his fan-friendly style.
How do these two stack up?
Alvarez: 32 years old | 5'9" | 69" reach
dos Anjos: 31 years old | 5'8" | 70" reach
What have these two done recently?
Eddie Alvarez: | W - Anthony Pettis(SD) W - Gilbert Melendez(SD) | L - Donald Cerrone (UD)
Rafael dos Anjos: W -Donald Cerrone (TKO) | W -Anthony Pettis (UD) | W - Nate Diaz (UD)
How did these get here?
Eddie Alvarez is one of the most unappreciated lightweights in the history of mixed martial arts. While Alvarez has not been at his best inside the UFC Octagon, he has shown in his stints in Japan and in Bellator that he is a seriously talented fighter. Alvarez is best known for his wars with Michael Chandler, but his UFC stint so far has been underwhelming, having lost in his promotional debut to Donald Cerrone, Alvarez has went on to pick up a pair of split decision wins over former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and former UFC champion Anthony Pettis.
The last few years have been very kind to Rafael dos Anjos. Following a 3-fight winning streak, Rafael dos Anjos was given a title shot against the in-form Anthony Pettis. While many expected Pettis to make light work of dos Anjos, the Brazilian dominated the champion and took home the title. In dos Anjos' first title defense, in December, it took him just 66 seconds to finish the ever-tough Donald Cerrone. RDA seems to be hitting his fighting prime and Eddie Alvarez will act as a game opponent for the Brazilian.
Why should you care?
This one should be an all-out war. Eddie Alvarez thrives in the face of adversity and dos Anjos knows how to dish out punishment. Expect this one to be a back-and-forth battle.