Bellator Fighting Championships officially announced today that the promotion will make its debut in The City of Brotherly Love when Philadelphia native and Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez squares off against former UFC star Roger Huerta in one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year.
“Bellator 33: Alvarez vs. Huerta” is set to take place from the Liacouras Center in Pennsylvania on October 21st.
For the explosive champ, the knockout artist has surprisingly finished all of his most recent victims by submission. In his last trip to the cage, Alvarez put rugged UFC veteran Josh “The Dentist” Neer to sleep with a nasty rear-naked choke during Bellator 17 in Boston in May.
“Roger Huerta, Philadelphia, October 21st… this is a dream fight for me,” said Alvarez. “I’ve never even lost a fight here in the United States, so I’m definitely not going to start in my hometown of Philadelphia with all of my people there. That’s not going to happen. Not a chance.
“I’m not going to be happy unless I completely control and dominate Roger in this fight. It’s important for me to go in there and dominate this fight and prove that I’m one of the best lightweights in the world.”
Huerta is eager to return to the cage after suffering a defeat in his previous outing when Pat Curran shocked the MMA world and defeated “El Matador” by unanimous decision in the semifinal lightweight tournament at Bellator 17.
Although fighting in Alvarez’ backyard of Philadelphia, Huerta expects for the advantage to ultimately lie in his favor, stating, “The cheers or jeers won’t affect me one way or the other. The pressure is on him fighting in his hometown. He’s going to bring the best out of me. The best. It’s going to be scary.
“This is a fight that I’ve always wanted. It’s a dream come true. It’s going to be a grueling fight for the both of us. It’s going to be a potential fight of the year. I’m going in there expecting a war, and I’m going in there trying to finish Eddie.”
Intending to send a direct message to his critics and fans alike in his upcoming performance against Huerta, Alvarez would be the first to admit that he’s had the former Sports Illustrated cover athlete in his sites since the moment Huerta signed his contract with Bellator.
“I don’t care where you fought in the past, but if you come to my promotion and you have a big name and you’re obviously marketable, and the promotion signs you, I’m going to have an issue with that,” said Alvarez. “If I don’t feel threatened by that, then I’m an idiot. I feel threatened by someone like Roger trying to move into my house and I’m going to do everything I can to protect what’s mine and get him out of there. I want to keep all eyes on me. I’m going to go out there and do my job and get him out of there.”
The Liacouras Center seats just over 10,000 capacity and is located on the campus of Temple University.
Tickets for “Bellator 33: Alvarez vs. Huerta” are available now and are priced at $150, $85, $65, $45, and $25. Please visit www.ComcastTix.com if you would like to attend the show.