Title Bout on July 7th: Eddie Alvarez vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Eddie Alvarez will be getting a crack at a title after an addition to the July 7th card: Eddie Alvarez vs Rafael Dos Anjos. Alvarez is the number one contender in the division, despite having very lackluster wins against the top contenders at 155.
Alvarez, who trains with the Blackzilians, has a professional record of 27-4 and has won 5 out of his last 6 fights. He has not had much time in the UFC though, after previously fighting under the Bellator promotion, Alvarez has posted a 2-1 record since joining the UFC.
Many people believe that since joining the UFC, Alvarez has not done enough to warrant a title shot. He may be number one in the UFC rankings, but other media outlets have Alvarez ranked as the third or fourth best fighter in the lightweight division.
His best claim to the title shot was his three round fight against former champion, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Many believed that if Pettis was victorious, he would be the number one contender for the belt. Alvarez put a stop to that though, as his game plan against Pettis worked out perfectly. He exposed the former champion by exploiting the holes in the ground game of Pettis, taking him down and refusing to let him up.
Alvarez will be granted the next title shot, that cannot be denied, but let’s take a look at the decision and the other contenders that will be waiting after the fight on July 7th.
Tony Ferguson is a ruthless fighter. He goes out to fight, not to win on a scorecard. That cannot be said about many in the division, including Alvarez, whose sole gameplan was to sit on Pettis for three rounds. Ferguson may have seen his shot disappear due to the fact that he had to pull out of his next fight vs Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was the first fight he has ever pulled out of and his recovery time will be about four to six weeks.
Ferguson’s biggest claim to a title shot would be that he has pulled off seven straight victories in a loaded lightweight division. Ferguson seems to be one win against a top five contender away from a shot at the title, but has not been booked for a fight against top competition until his fight against Nurmagomedov.
Khabib has not fought in two years, but don’t let that make you think that he is a title contender. In his last fight, he picked up a win against the current champion Dos Anjos. His record is untouched and after six straight wins in the UFC, it seems like Khabib’s next fight should be a fight for the title. Even after being out of competition for two years, he is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the lightweight division.
Nurmagomedov will be facing Darrell Horcher Saturday, April 16th.
Pettis went into his fight with Eddie Alvarez looking to fight. His opponent did not share that same interest. Pettis was outmatched significantly by being taken down and held down the whole fight. When both fighters were standing, Pettis was able to due damage, but the fight was mostly on the ground.
Pettis is one of the sports most exciting fighters, but he has suffered back to back losses. Losing the belt against Dos Anjos and the fight previously mentioned versus Alvarez were big blows for the former champion. Pettis had mentioned that he will be training with a new camp whenever his next fight is, as he believed that he was not set up for success in the Alvarez fight. Showtime is a force in this division and it would have been great to see a rematch against the current champ, Dos Anjos.
Either way, the lightweight title is on the line and it will be Eddie Alvarez vs Rafael Dos Anjos for it just a few days before UFC 200. The contenders mentioned above will have to improve their resume from now until then to be certain that they will hear their name announced when the UFC decides who will fight the winner of Eddie Alvarez vs Rafael Dos Anjos.