Former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez recently reached the end of his fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Rather that renew with the promotion, Alvarez decided to try out free agency.
The former title holder has since signed a fight contract with One Championship. Speaking in a media conference call on Wednesday, Alvarez offered a few words on why he made the move.
“Without getting too much into it, we had offers from all around the world. We got offers from just about everyone you can think. Everyone expressed interest. The idea of ONE Championship, it’s the only major organization I haven’t held 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.
“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 organization, 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.
“If I was to retire, and there was an organization out there that was the best in the world and I wasn’t able [to fight there], and people would come to me and they would go, ‘Yeah, but he didn’t win the ONE world title’ – that would bug me. I’m going to save myself that bother and fly to Asia and take on the best lightweights there and win that world title.”
“The offer from ONE was too good to turn down,” said Alvarez. “Considering what the average pay of an athlete is at the UFC, I believe the UFC did a great job. But, they have a business model. They pay a certain amount for certain fighters for certain reasons. It is what it is. There’s no harm, no foul. It’s a business first with these promotions. ONE looked out for me, looked out for my family and understands my wants and my needs and I think it’s important to return the favor.”