Unlike any other division in MMA, there are two lightweights not competing inside of the Octagon that could seriously give the UFC’s 155-pounders a run for their money. While Strikeforce king Gilbert Melendez’s transfer could go smoothly because he fights under Zuffa, LLC’s banner, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez’s (Pictured) relocation will be a tad more complicated.
Alvarez defends his crown against Michael Chandler on October 15th. He will then have two more fights remaining on his current Bellator contract, which will take roughly a year to finish out. However, because of his brotherly bond with reigning UFC champ Frankie Edgar, the 27-year-old isn’t too anxious to jump ship at this point in time.
“Frankie’s doing super-well – that’s one of the bigger reasons I don’t care about going there [to the UFC], because I have a friend and close training partner who’s doing well, and I don’t want to do anything to step on Frankie’s toes,” Alvarez told ESPN.com’s Rumor Central. “I like him. I think we work well together. I’m already making a lot of money, and so is Frankie. There’s no reason for me to step into the UFC and challenge Frankie right now.
“If that has to happen, 100 percent, then we both recognize that. We would. But it’s not necessary. He’s taking care of his family, he’s living comfortable, and so am I.”
Alvarez owns an impressive 22-2 resume, finishing off 19 of his victims before the final horns have sounded. Many believe he’s the best 155-pounder in the world not named Frankie Edgar, while others claim it’s Melendez. Speaking of El Nino…
“There are so many more match-ups in the UFC that I like, guys I’d want to fight [instead of Edgar]. I’d like to get a hold of Gilbert Melendez of Strikeforce – there are so many great match-ups. A lot of them. I am excited about it,” Alvarez added. “More than anything, just keep gong out there and fighting like crazy, and putting my heart into this … everything else seems to fall in line when I do that.”
Edgar is slated to defend his belt against Gray Maynard at UFC 136 on October 8th, while the rumor mill has been fairly quiet on the Melendez front since his dominating title defense against veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri in April.