As one of the very best lightweight fighters on the UFC roster today, it’s been difficult for former divisional champion Eddie Alvarez to get fights he really wants.
Former lightweight titleholders Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson are on hiatus for one reason or another, veteran Nate Diaz is in the mix for a ridiculous superfight, and current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is too busy fighting the likes of Al Iaquinta.
While Alvarez has only won one bout since his title loss to McGregor at UFC 205, “The Underground King” is right in the mix for another shot at lightweight gold. But with limited options at his fingertips, Alvarez had to reluctantly accept a rematch with fellow 155-pound contender Dustin Poirier at UFC on FOX 30 on July 28 from inside Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The two fought to a no contest back at UFC 211 after Alvarez landed illegal blows to a down “Diamond.” A reboot isn’t something that attracted Alvarez’s interest at all, but it’s really the only play he could have made.
“I think with a win over Dustin I get right in the title picture,” Alvarez said during a recent Instagram Live video. “There’s not too many guys in the division that excite me to fight. To be honest, Dustin doesn’t even excite me but he’s been winning, I respect him, and the UFC wants it to happen so I’m doing it. I really only want to fight like, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or fight someone like Nate [Diaz], a bigger name, a name that people respect, a name that a lot of people will think highly of. So they’re probably the only two guys that would do anything for me to up what’s going on in my career. Dustin, I’m not super excited about fighting him but I will.”
With UFC likely holding Khabib in check in hopes of a monster title fight with “Notorious” later this year, top threats like Alvarez and Poirier are left to mix it up among themselves.
A victory over Poirier at UFC on FOX 30 should land Alvarez on the doorstep of another title shot, especially if McGregor’s legal issues ultimately prevent him from stepping back inside of the Octagon in 2018. But with names like Ferguson and Kevin Lee looming behind the curtain, you never really know.
“Hopefully I can defend my title on July 28. That is UFC’s Most Violent One of All, yours truly,” said Alvarez. “I made the title up, I won it, I’m the self-proclaimed Most Violent Man on Earth.”
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