October 2, 2008

Eddie Alvarez at Dream 3 in Japan

Eddie Alvarez at Dream 3 in Japan

Following a phenomenal run in the inaugural Dream Lightweight Grand Prix, Philadelphia’s own Eddie Alvarez is ready to return to fighting in the United States and his first test appears to be Nick Diaz on Nov. 8 for the vacant Elite XC 160-pound divisional title. The belt was recently stripped from its first holder, K.J. Noons in a dispute between the fighter and the promotion.

Alvarez just recently got married, but as soon as he returned his fight schedule was almost immediately filled with a chance to put gold around his waist.

“I got back from my honeymoon about a week and a half ago and as soon as I got back I was on the horse that Monday,” Alvarez said in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com. “I’ll be fighting Nick Diaz, we’re about 90-something percent positive I’ll be fighting Nick Diaz for the EliteXC title at 160 (pounds).”

While bout agreements have yet to be signed, and EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw would not commit to the bout during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio Wednesday night, the fight has been verbally agreed to and seems all but a go between to the two lightweight contenders.

After fighting in Japan for most of this year, with a new six-fight contract with EliteXC in hand, Alvarez is excited to return home and face a tough challenge from the always-interesting Diaz.

“Nick’s a great opponent, he poses a lot of threats. Very good striking, as well as good jiu-jitsu, so he’s been in the game a while, he’s a pure fighter and I like that,” commented Alvarez. “He gets a lot of bad rap from a lot of people with his attitude, but deep down he likes to fight, he enjoys to fight and I consider myself the same kind of person. I enjoy to fight, my heart’s in this.”

While competing in Japan, Alvarez made the 154-pound weight limit for the tournament, but he’s excited to fight at 160 pounds when he returns to EliteXC in November.

“I like 160, I feel like at 160 I’m stronger, I’m faster, I’m not as depleted as I am at 155,” he said. “I’m excited, I can’t wait for this to happen.”

Many fans have been clamoring to find out what Alvarez would do next and while a return to Japan isn’t out of the question, the former Bodog champion says that “Dream is behind him.”

Now his focus turns to a title fight against Nick Diaz and he’s already back in training and ready for a showdown that could top his already impressive bouts from earlier this year.

“I think it makes for a great battle and the fans are going to win in the end,” Alvarez stated. “That’s all that really matters, you get paid in the end and the fans are happy.”