Alvarez Targets Diaz Pairing Years After Mexico Scuffle
Eddie Alvarez has one specific name on his hit list.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator Lightweight champion, Alvarez, is set to make his bare-knuckle boxing debut later this month (Sat., April 29, 2023). As one of the most exciting 155-pound fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history, “The Underground King” has fought a who’s who inside the cage or ring.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Alvarez won’t be treated as a chump and he wanted to make that clear the week of his June 2015 encounter with Gilbert Melendez. The former Strikeforce champion, Melendez, was accompanied by a longtime friend and training partner, Nate Diaz, who is never shy to share his feelings about anyone in the MMA space.
“I almost fought Nate in Mexico when I was fighting Gilbert Melendez,” Alvarez told MMA Junkie. “I confronted him in Mexico City about grilling me and doing some weird little kid bulls—t and we got into it then UFC broke it all up. We never got to hash that out, and I beat up his teammate so I thought after I beat Melendez that maybe that would warrant a fight against him, but still, he never fought me. So, I think this is the right stage, the right opportunity to get this done. He’s a free agent, I’m over here and I’d love to fight someone like him after this.”
Alvarez and Diaz never fought in or out of UFC despite their time in the promotion intertwining for a brief spell. While Alvarez gears up for his upcoming venture into the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) ring for a match with Chad Mendes at BKFC 41, Diaz remains one of the combat sports world’s biggest free agents.
At age 39, Alvarez admits he doesn’t have much left in terms of goals in his professional fighting career. One thing is for sure, however, and that’s that he still wants to get his hands on the younger Diaz brother.
“We’re in the same weight class, we’ve asked for him a number of times during my MMA career, during my UFC career. It never came to fruition,” Alvarez said of Diaz. “Timing, title shots, you name it, wrong opponents. Nate Diaz is the only guy I’d want that I’d say, ‘Hey, can we sign this guy and bring him over here?’ That’s the only one.
“I just think he’s the right fighter,” he continued. “I think he’d transition well over to here with that real ‘gangster’ style or whatever he wants to be. I think it’ll do good here and I think that’s the only opponent that I would only want to fight. I don’t really have a desire to fight anyone besides him.”
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