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Eddie Alvarez reveals why he left ONE Championship

Former UFC and Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez explains his motivation for cutting ties with ONE Championship

Former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez revealed why he left ONE Championship
Former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez revealed why he left ONE Championship
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Eddie Alvarez hasn’t fought in the United States since he knocked out Justin Gaethje nearly five years ago in a bout that was one of the best MMA scraps of 2017. According to the soon-to-be 39-year-old, the idea of wrapping up his MMA career without a return to competition in the U.S. is unacceptable.

A former Bellator and UFC champion, Alvarez signed a free agent deal with ONE Championship in 2018. The Philadelphia-born and bred fighter made his debut with that promotion in 2019. He fought for ONE Championship four times between 2019 and his most recent outing in April 2021. Alvarez’s record in those bouts was 1-2 with one no contest.

Last week, Alvarez tweeted that he had “amicably” parted ways with the promotion and that he had become “officially a free agent.”

This week, Alvarez filled in the details of his split with ONE Championship. He also offered some thoughts about the goals for the rest of his MMA career.

“The contract was coming to an end, and I spoke with my agent and I told him, ‘I would like my career to finish up in the United States.’ And when we originally sat down with ONE, the idea was that [they] would progressively move to the U.S.,” Alvarez said on The MMA Hour. “The plan was to have fights in Asia, and then my idea in my head was I would start in Asia, and towards the end of my contract, we would move closer to the U.S. and eventually get a fight there.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic threw a wrench into all of those plans and slowed the progression of that up by a lot.

“I’m going to more than likely be signing my last contract, and I just want to be fighting here in the United States,” Alvarez continued. “I really want and need to fight in the United States to finish my career here.”

Alvarez, who has a career record of 30-8 with two no contests, said he plans on speaking two the biggest promotions in the sport beginning in October. Those talks are likely to include the UFC and Bellator.

“Yes [I would return to the UFC],” Alvarez said. “Yeah [I would go back to Bellator]. My messy divorce was with (former Bellator president) Bjorn Rebney, it wasn’t with Scott Coker. I was freed by Scott Coker.”