The big news in MMA this week was the UFC’s signing of former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who will now take on surging No. 4-ranked Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of September 27’s stacked UFC 178 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alvarez quickly stated that he wanted the belt and he wanted it soon. With a win over “Cowboy,” he could be in line for the next shot at the held-hostage UFC 155-pound title, which will finally be defended when Anthony Pettis takes on Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181 on December 6.
Tonight, Alvarez appeared on AXS TV’s Inside MMA to discuss his bout with Cerrone, who has finished four straight opponents in devastating fashion:
“Over the years, the more dangerous of situations I’ve been put myself into, the more I rise; the better I become. So I’ve gotten immune to putting myself in dangerous situations because I know how my body reacts. I rise to the occasion every time, so I’ll happily walk in that cage and do what I do best.”
Alvarez touched on how he came to fight Cerrone, noting that he couldn’t simply go off the rankings as a former champion and demand an immediate title shot:
“There’s a difference between perception and reality. We can’t go on the rankings. I’m virtually unbeaten as a lightweight. I’ve beaten every lightweight they put in front of me.
I got beat some nights but I came back and avenged my losses and I’ve beaten every single lightweight that I’ve ever fought, and I’m still not No. 1. So, it’s hard for me to trust in the rankings, and trust in rankings of who’s better than who. There’s one way to find out, and on September 27, that’s when we’ll find out, what the rankings are about, and the reality of them, and the perception of them.”
Alvarez may raise an interesting point, but the bottom line is that he’s never faced any of the ultra-tough lightweights that populate the upper level of the stacked UFC lightweight arena. He’ll jump in head first against one of the best at September 27.
Will he immediately prove that the rankings mean nothing by beating the lightweight with the most momentum?