Last week, Eddie Alvarez knocked out Patricky Freire at Bellator 76 with four seconds remaining in the opening frame in what could possibly have been the last time the scrappy lightweight competes for the promotion he helped put on the grid.
Fighting for Bellator and being Bjorn Rebney's top draw, as well as the face of the promotion since its inception back in April 2009, Alvarez now becomes the most sought after free agent in mixed martial arts (MMA) by fulfilling his contract obligations with arguably the second best promotion in the world.
The anticipation as to where "Silent Assassin" will end up next has been growing for months, and now that he is free to shop around, it's only elevating off the charts. And you can bet Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would love nothing more than to add yet another shark to it's already talent-laden 155-pound division.
In fact, immediately after his win over "Pitbull" last weekend (Oct. 12, 2012), UFC President Dana White sent a tweet to Alvarez saying: "Congrat's Bro!!! Let's talk :)"
The scrappy 155-pound contender has made it clear he will sign with whoever can help provide the best living for his family, even if it means fighting in an "obscure country" where no one can see him.
Appearing on today's (Oct. 16, 2012) episode of "The MMA Hour" Alvarez discussed being a free agent and shed some light as to where he might end up next. Well, sort of:
"I want to sit down with the people of Viacom. I'm interested in what's going on with the Spike deal next year. Of course Bellator has a ton of huge things going on, and I'm interested in what them guys have to say. From there, we'll field offers from everyone else, the UFC and everyone else, whoever is out there, I don't know who's out there. I didn't know Bellator existed, they just started when I was done with my Dream contract, they just popped up out of nowhere."
While waiting for the offers to roll in, Alvarez is in no rush to commit to one organization:
"I'm not impatient. I'm taking my time with this. There's very few times in your career when you become a free agent after winning. That's the biggest key. So I'm taking my time, enjoying my family back home, and just eating a little bit of normal meals."
So what will Alvarez do before he settles on a promotion for which to fight? It's simple -- he will go back to pouring concrete at his old construction job:
"I still call my boss and see if he has work for me. I felt like doing that work, even though I was undersized at welterweight, doing the concrete work, I was so much stronger than a lot of the guys I was fighting, because of the concrete work. So I still tell him, if he has a lot of concrete at the yard to pour or something that will give me a good workout, I'll get strength and conditioning in and just work for him. It's humbling, a lot of construction guys think I'm full of shit, they don't believe that's what I do. So I just try to keep my head down and push the barrels and work. What they say is they go ‘you wouldn't have to be out here if you were a good fighter,' something like that. I'm like ‘you're right, I don't have to be out here."
Talk about humble.
As the free agent situation continues to unfold, it seems the answer might come later, rather than sooner.
Let's just hope good things come to MMA fans who wait ... impatiently.