Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is a man who had to work very hard in order to get into title contention
Alvarez, by his own words, “had to fight Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez and Rafael dos Anjos” in order to get to where he did.
Currently coaching against Justin Gaethje on The Ultimate Fighter, Alvarez questioned if the bout went against the meritocracy he personally felt dictated the show at 155 pounds:
“Who are [Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson]? Who are they? I don’t even know what that fight is. I don’t know what happened there. Out of nowhere, they made an interim belt and had Lee fight Ferguson. This is very odd for me what went on there. I’m surprised at that one, not all the matchmaking, just that in particular one. It seems like I did [The Ultimate Fighter 26], like alright, I’m going to do the show, I’m going to fight Justin [Gaethje] and work my way back to a number one contender and stuff like that.”
“Then, out of nowhere, they put up a belt and then put them two guys to fight for it. I’m like, [Kevin Lee] beats Mike Chiesa and he gets a title shot? That was very odd for me. I had to fight Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez, Rafael dos Anjos – I had to fight these guys in order to prove myself and get a title shot. This guy won against a TUF winner and gets a title shot? It was very weird for me.”