The UFC will reportedly lose one of their top-ranked lightweights. Eddie Alvarez is close to signing with ONE Championship.
The former UFC light champion’s contract expired after his last fight. ‘The Underground King’ lost via TKO to rival Dustin Poirier at July’s UFC on FOX 30 from Calgary. According to a report from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Alvarez is close to agreeing to a multi-fight deal with rising Asian promotion ONE Championship:
Free agent Eddie Alvarez is very close to agreeing to a new multi-fight contract with ONE Championship, multiple sources told ESPN. This would be the biggest FA signing in ONE history.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 13, 2018
Indeed it would be the biggest free agent signing in ONE Championship history. They signed former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren in late 2013. He became their welterweight champion, going 6-0(1) until he retired in 2017. “Funky” was a great champion.
However, Alvarez is a bigger name based on the fact he was UFC champion and fought Conor McGregor.
ONE’s Chatri Sityodtong teased a huge free-agent signing earlier today, adding fuel to this fire:
I’m about to announce one of the biggest athlete signings in history for ONE Championship. Any guesses? 🔥🔥🔥 #WeAreONE
— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) October 13, 2018
Alvarez is among the top lightweights in MMA history. He won the UFC and Bellator 155-pound titles during his time. Aside from his accomplishments, he’s also known for some of the most exciting battles the cage has ever played host to.
His wars with Justin Gaethje, Poirier, and Michael Chandler come to mind, but “The Underground King” has too many battles to list here.
Alvarez did gamble on himself heading into his rematch with Poirier earlier this year. The two first fought at UFC 211 in 2017, with the fight ending in a controversial No Contest. He lost the second bout in another awesome battle. But he reportedly met with UFC President Dana White and couldn’t reach an amicable financial agreement on both sides.
The UFC’s loss is ONE’s gain. He’ll move on to what is most likely a lucrative contract to continue putting on exciting fights in Asia.