The UFC lightweight division has always been one of the most competitive divisions in the organization. And it got even tougher with last week’s announcement of UFC Featherweight champion, Conor McGregor joining the division to get the next title fight against Rafael dosAnjos in March.
Former Bellator lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez (26-4-0) may have been affected by McGregor’s decision most of all. Coming off a slow 2015, Alvarez starts of the new year with a #1 contender fight this Sunday versus Anthony Pettis, in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs Cruz. But the addition of McGregor doesn’t seem to bother him at all. “We are in the fight business,” explained Alvarez. “And the business part is always more important than the fight part.”
And when it comes to the fight part, even with having a slow start in the UFC, he has proven in the past to be one of the best, stand and bang type of fighters and he doesn’t look to change that in 2016. “I don’t fight for the judges,” said Alvarez. “I can’t deny myself and who I am in the cage. I’ve tried to do it a number of times but it just doesn’t happen.”
Since coming to the UFC in 2014, Alvarez has only fought twice, losing his UFC debut to Donald Cerrone in September of that year and earning a split decision win over Gilbert Melendez back in June. So it’s fair to say that his upcoming fight against Pettis is his most important yet. “He’s ex- champion,” explained Alvarez. “I feel like he had his time and I’m going to show up on Jan 17th and take his name from him and I’m going to ask for a title shot.”