Former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (22-3) is at a crossroads in his career. Bellator Fighting Championships has helped provide him a platform to fight tough opposition, but Alvarez is starting to seek greener pastures with big-name fighters.
After Alvarez and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney spoke, Alvarez was unhappy that Rebney suggested he enter the lightweight tournament again. The Philadelphia Fight Factory mainstay believes that because he and Chandler were involved in a Fight of the Year candidate and that warranted a rematch.
“I’m definitely not happy with the decision of putting me back into the tournament and having me do all that,” Alvarez told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition.
“I feel like if I went out and I fought Mike Chandler and he just completely dominated, I could understand them saying, ‘alright go back to the tournament, go back to the drawing board, and work your way up.’ I sort of look at it like you work your way up the corporate ladder and you show up 15 minutes late for work one day and you drove me back to the mail room.”
While Alvarez remains unhappy without a rematch with Chandler, Bellator did try to make things right by giving him a rematch against Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. The Philadelphian wants to give the fans what they want to see and if it were left up to him, he would have all his fans pick his opponents.
“I put more effort and more love into the promotion and I expected a little bit better back, but it is what it is and I understand the business. I’m just glad that they were able to get Aoki over here so that I can avenge my loss.
“Instead of going in the tournament again and doing all that again, I’d be more interested in just going on my Twitter or going on MMA.tv and asking all the people who watch this sport, who love this sport and support this sport, who is available and who would you guys like to sign? And tell Bjorn, ‘hey, this is who you sign.’ In all honesty, it’s up to the fans. When the fans scream for a rematch because it was Fight of the Year and when it doesn’t happen, I’m kind of sad about that.”
Alvarez is loyal to Bellator and doesn’t want to create unnecessary tension, but he wants the fans to remain happy seeing him fight high-caliber fighters like Shinya Aoki.