Eddie Alvarez recently caught most by surprise after he opted not to re-sign with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), instead taking his talents overseas to compete for ONE Championship.
Read all about it here.
While most consider UFC to be the end all, be all in mixed martial arts (MMA), ONE has a tight grasp on Asian MMA. Plus, signing with ONE will give Eddie the chance to make history by winning a title in the three major MMA fight companies.
“We got offers from just about everyone you guys can think of and everyone expressed interest,” Alvarez told reporters, including MMAjunkie during a conference call. “As far as major organizations, ONE Championship was the only major organization that I haven’t held a world title in. I won the Bellator title twice during my career. I won the UFC title during my career, and as far as I’m concerned, ONE is the only major organization that I haven’t got to touch that world title belt,” he added.
“For myself, for my family, for my fans and everyone, this would mean that I would have a chance at making history. Possibly history that could never be made again. It would take a fighter 20 years in the fight game to be able to fight for these major organizations, and it’s almost like a lottery ticket to be able to win one world title. So to be able to go to every major organization, fight their best guys in the world, to fight the best guys in that organization and then beat them all one-by-one and win that world title, means the world to me.”
According to Eddie, UFC did come correct with its offer to keep him, but at the end of the day, ONE offered more than what he could turn down.
“I believe the offer from ONE was too good to turn down,” Alvarez said. “The UFC did their best. Considering what the average pay of an athlete is, I believe the UFC did a great job. They did their best to keep me, but they have a business model. They pay a certain amount to certain fighters for different reasons. Everybody is a different case. It is what it is. There’s no harm, no foul.,” he added.
“But it’s a business first with these promotions, and ONE looked out for me, looked out for my family. They understood my wants and my needs, and I think it’s important at this point to return the favor.”
While Eddie wouldn’t disclose complete financial details, it must’ve been pretty decent to turn down UFC, despite the fact recent reports have ONE Championship taking losses in income.
A debut for Alvarez is not set at the moment, but he will definitely be gunning for a shot at the title sooner, rather than later. Alvarez was last seen coming up on the losing end to Dustin Poirier at UFC on FOX 20 this past summer.