Eddie Alvarez sees a path to solidifying himself as the greatest lightweight the sport of MMA has ever seen.
ONE Championship athlete Eddie Alvarez has already achieved the rare feat of capturing two world titles in two different major promotions. Alvarez was the inaugural Bellator lightweight champion in 2009 and was able to recapture the title in 2013 to become a two-time champion. The second reign ended with Alvarez vacating the title and going to the UFC, where he would become the lightweight champion there as well after defeating Rafael dos Anjos in 2016.
Eddie Alvarez Believes He’s One Title Away From LW GOAT Status
Now a member of the ONE Championship roster, Eddie Alvarez so far has had mixed results, currently sitting at 1-1 in the promotion. If he is victorious in his next bout against Iuri Lapicus on April 7, “The Underground King” thinks a title shot won’t be far away. And if he is able to add a lightweight championship belt from a third promotion to his mantle, he believes that would close the lightweight GOAT debate in his favor (transcription via Adam Martin).
“I mean, I think in my eyes I’d be the greatest lightweight that ever lived. It’s fine to be great for five years, it’s even good to be great for 10 years. But for two decades, to continue to fight champions all over the world. I’m not staying in one place, I’m not staying in one promotion. I’m going to all parts of the world and fighting every champion from every major promotion and becoming the champion on that platform. No one has done it, no one will ever do it. You have to be as crazy as I am,” Alvarez said.
“But I love this sport and it’s one fight at a time. It’s one fight at a time, and that’s how I’ve done it. As many belts as I collet and as many champions as I’ve defeated, it will be argued, but I’ll just tell people to check the scoreboard, you know what I mean? I don’t want to argue it. Check the scoreboard. Let’s accumulate the data and check the scoreboard. Then we’ll talk about who’s the greatest lightweight that ever lived.”
There have been some great lightweights in history. The two who perhaps get the most mention in the LW GOAT debate are the legendary BJ Penn and, of course, the 29-0 Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Alvarez has publicly entertained the thought of fighting Khabib after Khabib’s retirement. If that were to happen and Alvarez emerged victorious, that would certainly go a long way to enhance his GOAT argument. But with Khabib’s retirement now looking more permanent than ever, he will have to instead make his case by being the first man in three years to defeat ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee and thus win a world title in a third major promotion.
If Eddie Alvarez captures the lightweight title at ONE Championship, do you think that would make him the lightweight GOAT?