Eddie Alvarez may have already blown his only chance to get the one fight he really wants 5 years ago

Eddie Alvarez may have already blown his only chance to get the one fight he really wants

Eddie Alvarez may be the greatest lightweight of all time without having been the best 155 lber at any one time.

He may never have been the consensus number one in the world, but Eddie Alvarez' body of work speaks for itself.


His trophy cabinet is packed with the scalps of champions. He's defeated two UFC champions, two Bellator champions, one WEC champion, one Strikeforce champion, one DREAM champion, a ONE champion, a Shooto champion and in his most recent outing, he handed WSOF king Justin Gaethje his first career knockout.

"The Underground King" has done it all, including having UFC gold wrapped around his waist. With one fight left on his current deal, he still has the hunger to do more. His new motivation appears to be adding to his already impressive legacy.


The Eagle has landed

The payoff of being a top dog in the UFC's most-populated division is the possibility of securing three 'money-fights'. Alvarez came up way short in his Red Panty Night at UFC 205, but Nate Diaz has indicated that he wants to return.

Although the jury is still out on the drawing power of Khabib Nurmagomedov, fighting in a title fight is exponentially more lucrative for UFC fighters than taking another bout further down the rankings. If Alvarez had the option, he would fight the undefeated Dagestani next. But as he explained on the MMA Hour, it's not because of the belt.

“The one I want the most out of all them is Khabib, and it has nothing to do with the title. I just think right now, timing wise, he’s the most valuable of all them fighters. He’s undefeated so there is this mystique that he is unbeatable which excites me even more. I just need to fight somebody that I can get excited about. I’ve been fighting since I am 19 years old and I need something more than just here’s another bout, here’s another guy.”


Join the queue

If Conor McGregor is available, he will almost definitely fight Nurmagomedov next. That fight makes the most sense from a business perspective. It would also do a lot to clear up the debate over who the top lightweight in the world is.


If 'the Notorious' won't be returning quickly, things will get very interesting. Former interim champion Tony Ferguson is set to be out for a long time after blowing out his knee. That leaves the number-three ranked Alvarez next up in the rankings.

While waiting in that spot could payoff in the form of a shot at Nurmagomedov, being inactive may hurt his case. Alvarez is on a one-fight win-streak. As is Kevin Lee, but Lee's incredible finish of Edson Barboza is a lot fresher in everyone's minds. Number-four ranked Dustin Poirier may have the best case for a title shot outside the top three being unbeaten in his last four trips to the Octagon. Plus Nurmagomedov's team have already expressed interest in that fight.

Carpe Diem


It's often forgotten, but Alvarez was supposed to fight Nurmagodov at UFC 205. However, Megan Olivi announced on UFC Tonight that he had missed the contract deadline. The fight was expected to be targeted for UFC 206, but instead, they let McGregor move up and fight for the second belt.

More recently, Alvarez was presented with a glorious chance to finally fight Nurmagomedov. Admittedly, these would have been under less than ideal conditions. When Ferguson pulled out of UFC 223's headliner  Alvarez was one of the first fighters sought as a replacement. Despite predicting a withdrawal and promising to be ready to step in, he was too heavy to take the fight.

Nurmagomedov will want a fight after observing Ramadan. McGregor, Ferguson, Georges St-Pierre and Poirier are his preferred opponents. If none of those options are available, Alvarez could well get his shot. However, it's not something he can really bank on. If Nurmagomedov gets booked against someone else, it might be worth his while staying ready.

Just in case.