The lightweight division is one of the most competitive and interesting in MMA. It has a long history of great fighters from BJ Penn, Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez to Conor McGregor and the GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov.
37-year-old MMA veteran and current ONE Championship lightweight Eddie Alvarez deserves to be mentioned among the greats. He has competed in nearly every major MMA promotion and has victories over some of the biggest names in the lightweight division.
Here are 5 reasons Eddie Alvarez is one of the greatest lightweights in mixed martial arts history.
#5 Exciting fight style
If you were to look up 'all-action fighter' in the dictionary, you should find an image of Eddie Alvarez. In his 39 fight career, he only has 7 decisions on his record.
The man comes to finish fights. Win or lose, you are guaranteed action when Eddie Alvarez steps into a cage. A complete, well-rounded fighter, Alvarez is more than happy to ignore his wrestling skills to stand and bang with opponents (as shown in his fight against Conor McGregor).
This exciting, no fear style makes him one of the best lightweights to watch in MMA history.
#4 Alvarez is a fan favorite
Fans love finishes and fans love fighters who go all out in the cage. The blue-collar Philly-based fighter quickly became a fan favorite long before his UFC run.
He became known as ‘The Underground King’ for his exciting fight style in smaller promotions such as BodogFight and the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix in Japan.
Once he made it to the big time, his epic battles against Michael Chandler in Bellator and wars against Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier in the UFC showed he was ready to go out on his shield.
#3 Impressive victories
Eddie Alvarez holds professional victories over a who’s who of legendary MMA lightweights across multiple organizations.
Over his 18-year pro career, he has beaten Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler, Bellator and UFC veteran Roger Huerta, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, UFC lightweight champions Anthony Pettis and Rafael Dos Anjos and WSOF lightweight champion and UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
This resume of wins puts Alvarez among the greatest lightweights in MMA history.
Philadelphia’s Eddie Alvarez has been fighting professionally for over 18 years. That means his pro MMA career is old enough to order a beer in many countries across the world.
The 39 fight veteran has a respectable record of 30-8-1 and has faced many of the best lightweights in the world. Incredibly, Alvarez has claimed he had over 100 unsanctioned fights before starting his professional career due to no amateur bouts being available.
He has fought for 12 different MMA promotions over his career.
#1 Multiple-time world champion
The Underground King Eddie Alvarez is the first (and only) fighter to win both the Bellator and UFC lightweight championships. He also won championships in the Bodog, MFC and Reality Fighting Championship organizations.
Alvarez became the first-ever Bellator lightweight champion after he defeated Toby Imada via submission in the lightweight tournament final in 2009. After losing his title to Michael Chandler at Bellator 58 in the 2011 fight of the year, he regained the belt, beating Chandler via split decision at Bellator 106 in another fight of the year candidate.
The Philly fighter signed with the UFC in 2014. He lost his debut to Donald Cerrone but then reeled off back-to-back victories over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis to put him in line for a lightweight title shot.
Alvarez then faced Rafael dos Anjos on July 7, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 90 for the UFC Lightweight Championship. The MMA veteran shocked the world by stopping RDA in the first round to become the new UFC lightweight champion, cementing himself as one of the greatest lightweights of all time.