James Iannotti now covers EliteXC news here on MMAmania.com. In addition to regular news updates he plans to provide frequent features on certain fighters to introduce them to the fans. This week he profiles Eddie Alvarez (11-1) who will headline a ShoXC Elite Challenger Series event this Friday (January 25) on Showtime against Ross Ebanez.
A former two-time high school All American wrestler for North Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Penn., "The Beast From The East" is known for his lightning quick hands, vicious knockout power and overall aggressive style.
Eddie Alvarez had his first professional fight in late 2003 and rattled off a 10-fight win streak, stopping every one of his opponents in the first or second rounds.
He became the Bodog Fight welterweight champion when he defeated veteren Derrick Noble (21-10-1) via knockout in 1:01 of the first round in June of 2006.
Two successful title defenses against Scott Henze (21-10-2) and Aaron Riley (23-10-1) -- both by first round stoppages -- led Alvarez to a match up with MMA journeyman, Nick "The Goat" Thomson, in April of last year.
It was during this bout that Alvarez suffered the first loss of his professional career to the bigger and more experienced fighter. The size disadvantage played a huge role in the fight and left Alvarez considering a move to lightweight.
After a win in July over Matt Lee (9-7-1), Bodog Fight decided to give Eddie a rematch with Thomson and a shot at reclaiming his belt. However, "The Goat" had to withdraw from the fight with injuries on two separate occasions, leaving Alvarez frustrated and eventually leading him to the decision it was time to move on.
A few months later a three-fight deal was inked between Alvarez and EliteXC for him to joint the 160-pound division (even though his fight with Ebanez will take place at 165). It's a signing that has EliteXC Live Events President, Gary Shaw, thrilled.
Here's a snip:
"Eddie is definitely a promising kid with a great future, but what truly amazes me is his incredibly devoted fan base.... He's a phenomenon on the East Coast where he may fight on a show that draws 5,000 fans, but two-thirds of them are there to see him. He is like a rock star in some respects. In an around Philadelphia, he is as popular as Philly cheese steak and is the best thing they have going as far as mixed martial arts goes."
At lightweight -- and in an organization that will provide more exposure -- Eddie Alvarez has the biggest opportunity of his career in front of him.
In short, the sky is the limit for this 24-year-old fighter. It won't be long before he'll be fighting for another championship belt.
Watch out KJ Noons.
Eddie's EliteXC debut is this Friday night from the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. at 11 p.m. LIVE on Showtime. He faces Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert and the tough as nails, Ross "The Boss" Ebanez.
If you've never seen Alvarez fight, do yourself a favor and tune in on time -- he has a habit of ending his fights very early.
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