The previously discussed UFC 178 bout between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Eddie Alvarez was thought to be only a rumor when it was announced that the surging Cerrone would take on rising lightweight Bobby “King” Green in the co-main event of the Sept. 27 card from Las Vegas.
But newly signed Bellator president Scott Coker kept saying he was in talks to get Bellator champion Alvarez released from his deal, and today, he delivered on that promise.
Speculation immediately shifted as to just whom Alvarez would face in his first bout, but that has been cleared up rather quickly.
According to an official announcement on UFC.com, Alvarez will in fact square off with Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC 178, making up some lost ground for a card that recently lost its awaited Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier headliner due to a “Bones” knee injury.
Five-year Bellator veteran Alvarez was last seen avenging his classic Bellator 58 loss to Michael Chandler by defeating the champion with a close split decision at last November’s Bellator 106. The longtime rivals were supposed to have their awaited trilogy match at Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) event of Bellator 120 in May, but those plans were nixed when Alvarez suffered an unfortunate concussion in training.
He’s now healed up and ready to take on the tall task of “Cowboy,” who has won four straight bouts with bonus winning finishes. He was most recently seen demolishing perennial Top 10-ranked lightweight Jim Miller with a vicious body kick at July’s UFC Fight Night 45 after finishing Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 11 in April.
Despite losing the media spectacle that Jones vs. Cormier had created following their infamous Media Day brawl, UFC 178 is still poised to be one of the most stacked PPV cards of the year.
Taking place live from the MGM Grand Garden, the event features a flyweight championship main event of Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso, a heated featherweight showdown between Irish superstar Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, and the returns of both former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who faces streaking Takeya Mizugaki, and No. 1-ranked women’s bantamweight Cat Zingano, who squares off with No. 7-ranked Amanda Nunes.
Green was originally slated to face dangerous Strikeforce vet Jorge Masvidal at UFC 178, but will now fight a yet-to-be-determined opponent on an upcoming card in November.