Eddie Alvarez is among the elite of fighter who can claim to have won championships in different organizations. ‘The Underground King’ has in his personal collection belts from five different companies, and today he celebrates his 34th birthday.
Eddie began his career in Ring of Combat in December of 2003 with a KO victory in the first round. Less than a year later, he earned his third professional victory in his debut for Reality Fighting to take home the inaugural welterweight belt after making his opponent surrender to his punches in just one minute.
After a few fights for four other organizations, Eddie became the welterweight champion for Mixed Fighting Championships in December of 2006 after knocking out Aaron Riley. He would later be promoted to welterweight champion of BodogFIGHT and lost the belt in a hard night of April 2007, when Nick Thompson took his belt and gave him the first loss of his career after remaining undefeated during the first ten fights of his career.
The following year, Eddie went abroad to Japan to fight under the Dream banner. He participated in the lightweight Grand Prix and made it through the first 2 bouts to face Tatsuya Kawajiri in the semifinal. The fight has gone down in history as Sports Illustrated and Sherdog’s Fight of the Year in 2008. After 7 minutes of absolute war, Alvarez finally broke Kawajiri and earned the TKO, unfortunately he was unable to fight in the final due to an eye injury. If you haver never heard of Alvarez vs. Kawajiri, here’s a brief video with some of the highlights from the brawl.
Eddie finished the year suffering the second loss of his career in Japan and by 2009 return to the US to sign a contract with Bellator MMA. He won his first 3 fights by submission to win the promotion’s tournament and become the lightweight champion. Alvarez added four more victories to his record but only the last of those was a title defense. Then in November of 2011 Eddie faced the man who became his nemesis: Michael Chandler.
In that first fight, Chandler submitted Alvarez with a rear-naked choke and took his belt. After working his way back to a rematch during 2012, Eddie finally had the opportunity to take his belt back. He defeated Chandler by split decision and once again became Bellator’s champion.
As buzz for a trilogy fight was growing, Eddie announced in 2014 he was vacating the title to join the UFC. His debut was in September against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 178 and he lost by unanimous decision. The following year he fought Gilbert Melendez in Mexico City and after being in trouble early in the fight, he somehow managed to stay in the fight and take home the win, basically with a closed eye.
After beating Anthony Pettis in January of 2016, Eddie received the chance to fight the champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. Alvarez seized his opportunity and destroyed the Brazilian in spectacular fashion in the first round to become the UFC lightweight champion.
Months later, Alvarez agreed to put his belt on the line against Conor McGregor, UFC featherweight champion, at UFC 205. An over confident Eddie saw the Irishman take his belt in the second round with a vicious TKO. He came back in May of 2017 and for a moment it looked like he was about to pick up another loss. He survived the first round and came back to hurt Poirier in an all out brawl. A couple illegal knees thrown in the heat of the battle finished the exciting bout in a No Contest.
In his most recent fight, Eddie faced the spectacular Justin Gaethje in what Alvarez himself called the battle for the title of the Most Violent Man in the UFC. Once again, Eddie was in trouble early on, but by the third round landed a beautiful knee to the chin of Gaethje and knocked him out.
A good show is guaranteed when Eddie Alvarez enters the cage and we thank him for that, today we also congratulate him for his 34th birthday.