At a recent ONE Championship open workout in Los Angeles, former UFC lightweight champion turned ONE FC contender Eddie Alvarez, said the interim title situation is a ‘serious problem.’
“Look, this is a serious problem,” Eddie Alvarez on Tuesday, per BJPenn.com’s Drake Riggs. “I’m laughin’, but it’s nothing to joke about. We’re all part of the problem, all of us are. When an interim title is given… And the media makes a big fuss of it and a fighter makes a big fuss of it and a fan makes a big fuss of it, an interim title has value. That’s the saddest thing that can happen in the sport.”
At UFC 236, there’s not one but two interim titles on the line, as featherweight champ Max Holloway will take on Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title and Israel Adesanya will fight Kelvin Gastelum for the interim middleweight strap.
Alvarez, 35, claims that interim titles are offered as a replacement for money.
“Because an interim title is given in replacement for money. ‘We don’t wanna give you money, but well give you an interim title. We don’t wanna give you money, but we’ll give you a main event spot. We don’t wanna give you money, but we’ll give you that opponent you want. We’ll give you everything… But what you deserve. And that’s money,’ Alvarez continued.
“That’s sad, it’s sad. And when that’s valued, an interim title is valued by fans, by the media, by the promotion and everyone, it’s a sick joke. And it should be laughed at and it should no longer be applauded and it should be booed. And when it is, it’ll be a happy day. Fighters get paid more, fans will be more educated, and promotions will stop the bullsh*t.”
Alvarez is happy to have moved on from the situation and says ‘it stinks’ that UFC fighters are forced to give up their ‘core beliefs’ when presented with an interim title shot.
“Cause you have to sell your core beliefs, what you believe in because you have to do a job and that stinks. It’s a sh*tty position to be in. And I don’t ever wanna be in it so when I had the ability to become a free agent I did it because I had a choice to make, that I could be a part of this problem of undervalued, underpaid fighters or I could be a part of the solution.”
UFC 236, which features a headlining interim title bout between Holloway and Poirier, takes place next month, April 13 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
As for Alvarez, the multiple-promotion champ will make his ONE FC debut against Timofey Nastyukhin on March 31 in Tokyo, Japan.