Eddie Alvarez (19-2) is known as one of the top five lightweights in the world and is the current reigning Bellator lightweight champion. His tenacious, go for broke, style of fighting has pleased fans worldwide, and of his nineteen career victories only two of them have gone the distance.
Alvarezís humble mixed martial arts beginnings started when he wrestled In high school. He met a fellow wrestler of his, along side his current trainer one day in his fellow wrestlerís basement and started to dabble in brazilian jiu jitsu. At the time it wasnít for him.
After Alvarez finished high school, trouble would soon find him. The young Alvarez would get himself into street fights, perhaps the only silver lining at the time was that he won those fights. But, it was not long after that Alvarez was at a crossroads in his life and made the jump to train mixed martial arts and become a fighter.
Now with Bellator Seasonís 2 and 3 underway Alvarez will find himself new challenges and opportunities to further solidify himself as one of the best lightweights in the world. MMA Recapís Andrew Gladstone caught up with Alvarez for mma fans to gain insight into the mind of the young Bellator champion.
Whatís it like being the Bellator lightweight champion?
"Itís an honor. Bellator, I believe has the right people behind it and theyíre smart about things. Theyíre taking the proper steps and not trying to take over the world over night and Iím happy to be apart of the promotion. I want to grow with it, and I want to help the promotion grow. So Iím just hoping as long as they do their job and I do mine that weíll grow together, and hopefully make the promotion and myself a success."
Whatís a day of training like with Eddie Alvarez?
"It depends on what day it is. I follow a system much like anyone else. I do a 6 to 8 week training camp, and itís usually about 6 or 7 days a week. I never take a full day off. I may rest in the afternoon, or I rest at night."
"I have to train every day in order to keep my weight down and stay active. I follow a regimen. Two days out of the week I train three times a day, and the rest I train two times a day."
Which fight of yours, is your favorite?
"Iíd have to say Toby Imada is my favorite tournament fight in Bellator. Overall if I had to pick over all my performances... Iím a huge fan of myself; Iím a huge fan of my fights. I like fighters who kind of mimic the same style I do, who are aggressive, who are risk takers and through caution to the wind. I enjoy watching guys like that, it keeps it fun."
Do you plan on fighting again in DREAM this year?
"I donít believe so, I believe Bellator will keep me busy enough to where I donít have to. Thatís something Iíll have to talk to my manager about and see whatís going on."
What have you learned from the loss to Shinya Aoki? And would you like a rematch with Aoki?
"Absolutely, in my loss to Aoki I think I thought about things to much and it caused me to be a bit hesitant where I usually ainít that hesitant. I caught Aoki in the very beginning of the fight, and instead of going in finishing; I just kinda let him be. I didnít have him completely knocked out, but I had him shook up a little bit and I shouldíve went in and finished, and that was the biggest discrepancy."
"When he was standing up and when he was in my realm, I didnít try to go in for the finish fast enough. But when he got me down and we were in his world, he took the opportunity to go after my leg and finish as fast as possible. There was a couple things I learned from that fight and it just caused me to be a better fighter thatís all."
Where do you feel you rank in the lightweight division?
"I believe they have me in the correct ranking now. I fought Aoki, Aoki beat me, so thereís no way I can say Iím ranked higher than Aoki or BJ Penn for that matter. Put me at number three. I think where Iím at now is exactly where I should be. I have to do things to prove myself in order to get ranked any higher, so thatís what Iím working on. Thatís what Iím going to continue to strive to do, is to continue to bump myself in the rankings."
Alvarez's take on MMA Rankings In General.
"I think rankings are just a way of negotiating money for yourself, it doesnít mean you can beat everyone else thatís below you. Itís just kind of a scoring system it doesnít mean that youíre a better fighter that youíre a better fighter than anyone thatís lower or higher than you, itís just a way of categorizing us."
Whatís your take on Bellator continuing to have tournaments with the winner getting a shot at you?
"I like it, I think Iím going to fight before the tournament, hopefully so I can stay active. It gives me a chance to be entertained, to see the new crop of guys coming in. I figure itíll be fun and itíll keep things exciting, new and fresh. And the guy who does win it truly deserves a shot, and like Bjorn says itís not some guy in a suit what match ups he thinks are better, or what match ups will make the most money for the promotion. Itís about as honest as you can get, and thereís never going to be any discrepancy of who gets the next title shot or who doesnít."
Who would you like to fight next?
"I donít have anyone preferably BJ Penn or Shinya Aoki theyíre the only ones ranked ahead of me. Unfortunately I donít think thatís able to happen right now, so Iím going to have to fight whoever they put in front of me and just win in devastating fashion to prove to people that I deserve a shot at the people who are ranked higher than me."
When asked what his favorite cereal was Alvarez said, "My favorite cereal would have to be Life."