Think All The Best Fighters Are in The UFC? Eddie Alvarez Says You’re Wrong
A narrative sometimes gets pushed that if a fighter isn't in the UFC, they can't be one of the planet's best. Well, recently Eddie Alvarez laid into that theory and then some.
There’s no question that many of the best fighters in the world are on the UFC roster. But, if you think all the planet’s most dangerous and talented fighters are signed with the UFC, well, Eddie Alvarez says you’re sorely mistaken.
Alvarez’s move to ONE Championship
Following Alvarez’s stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier last July, the decorated fighter ended up signing with ONE Championship. Alvarez exited the UFC having gone 4-3, with 1 no-contest during his run with the promotion, and that included taking out Rafael dos Anjos in 2016 to become the lightweight champ. Alvarez also defeated notable lightweights like Anthony Pettis and Justin Gaethje during that stretch.
“The Underground King’s” recent comments
Well, as Alvarez gets set to face Saygid “Dagi” Arslanaliev in the finals of ONE’s lightweight grand prix, October 13th, the veteran spoke with MMA Fighting. While talking about the theory that all of the sport’s best fighters are under the UFC umbrella, the 35-year-old said this:
That whole theory is crap that everybody who’s the best is a UFC guy,” Alvarez said. “It’s complete crap because I was the guy who didn’t fight in the UFC. I went there and won the belt. I beat arguably the best lightweight in that history. [Rafael dos Anjos] at the time was killing everyone. Like literally murdering the who’s who. So to go to the UFC, win the belt and be a guy from the outside that never fought there, I’m the guy you’re talking about.
“I wasn’t a UFC fighter per se but I went there and I won the world title. If I could do it, isn’t it true that anybody from the outside could possibly go there and win the title? It’s not arguable. It’s fact. The best fighters in the world, they’re all over and they’re virtually unknown.”
Ya. Anyone who isn’t an ‘only the UFC bro’ type of MMA fan, knows that there are lots of elite, world class fighters signed to other organizations. Case in point, you could make the argument that Demetrious Johnson remains the best flyweight on Earth, and he’s signed to ONE. Bellator light-heavyweight and heavyweight champ Ryan Bader is another of MMA’s very best. And, as Alvarez noted, there’s ridiculously talented fighters who have yet to become household names, whether it’s because of where they reside, the promotional opportunities they’ve had, or lack thereof.
Alvarez also made this interesting argument, while talking about ONE Championship’s roster versus the UFC’s:
“As a fight fan myself, it’s clear that the level of striking is easily in the favor of ONE Championship. That can’t even be argued,” Alvarez said. “When you watch ONE Championship, and when you watch what goes on in the Muay Thai bouts and even the MMA bouts, the striking is vastly better in ONE Championship.”
ONE does promote both Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts, and as a result, they have a lot of renowned strikers under contract. But MMA as well?