Not a fan of picking his opponents, Eddie Alvarez had a decision to make as to who he would defend his lightweight title against in his return to the cage following a concussion that knocked him out of his trilogy title bout opposite Michael Chandler, which was set to go down at Bellator 120 earlier this month.
Does he go ahead and finish his business with Chandler, or does he take on the interim division champion, Will Brooks? According to Eddie, it's pretty much a no-brainer, saying that the interim titleholder deserves the opportunity to face the real champion.
From Eddie's guest spot on The MMA Hour:
"More than anything that I want to get through to everyone, is that I've never picked a fight in my whole career. I'm not a promoter, I'm not a manager, I've never picked a fight. I simply got the call from the promotion, telling me who I'm fighting, and I took the fight. I'm not comfortable when you ask me who I want to fight. I think that's the shitty part of this sport and when guys do it, they should re-think what they're doing for a career, so, I'm not big on picking who I should fight. I don't think it's fair, I think the promoter should do that. But, when you put an interim title up, it's only fair that the guy who wins that title, should get the next fight at the champion. It only makes sense, things get kind of weird for everyone, like, what's going on if you fight a guy who is not the interim champ. So, just to keep everything correct and not get everything ugly, I think the interim champ should get the shot."
Serving as a late replacement for an injured Alvarez, Brooks earned the interim division strap by defeating Chandler via split decision at Bellator 120 in an entertaining back-and-forth affair, ruining all hopes of a third title fight with Chandler and Alvarez.
During the interview, Will Brooks joined in and talked about Eddie's decision. Even after Alvarez had already stated that fighting "Ill Will" over Chandler made sense, Brooks, for whatever reason, tried to force Alvarez into a trash-taking battle.
Perhaps Eddie's comments saying that Chandler was hurt during the May 17 fight against Brooks didn't sit too well with the interim champ. In the end, it seems Brooks got what he was looking for, as Alvarez broke down and said he chose Brooks because he was an "easier" fight than Chandler.
Whether or not he actually meant that comment, only Alvarez knows for sure.
Nevertheless, Brooks has the chance to shock the mixed martial arts (MMA) world one more time if he can manage to dethrone Alvarez and unify the titles. Of course, it's not set in stone as the higher ups at Bellator may decide to go with Alvarez vs. Chandler 3 for their next foray into the pay-per-view (PPV) world.
And if they want to improve on these numbers from their first event, that might not be such a bad idea.