It’s not as though anyone expected a championship level cage fighter to be an entirely normal person. But, as former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez recently revealed, it’s exactly the kind of strange mindset that pushed him to his athletic success that’s also pushing him out the door of the world’s largest MMA organization and into the predominant platform for mixed martial arts in Asia: ONE Championship.
On October 15th, Alvarez – who lost his UFC lightweight title to Conor McGregor back in 2016 – announced that he was making the jump away from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and over to a new promotional home. A surprising move for an elite talent still performing at the highest levels of the sport, but – as Alvarez told reporters during a recent conference call presser – it was a move driven largely by his inability to feel content with his legacy (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I honestly don’t have the ability – and this could be a sickness of mine – I don’t have the ability to be happy with my current achievements,” Alvarez said, adding that ONE FC was the only major organization left where he hadn’t won a title. “No matter what I’ve done, fans say ‘what more do you have to prove? You won the Bellator world title and the UFC world title.’ Inside, I wish I felt like that. But I never do. There’s sort of a war going on inside of me that says, ‘There’s more to do, there’s more to improve and there’s things to be done.’
“I have trouble resting,” Alvarez admitted. “I have trouble being comfortable. After fighting for so long, being comfortable is being uncomfortable.”
Coupled with an offer that was “too good to turn down,” it sounds like Alvarez got just the deal he was looking for. He says he expects to debut in 2019, although the ‘Underground King’ doesn’t have a set date or opponent as of yet.
“If I was to retire, and there was an organization out there that was the best in the world and I wasn’t able [to fight there],” Alvarez posited, “and people would come to me and they would go, ‘Yeah, but he didn’t win the ONE world title’ – that would bug me. I’m going to save myself that bother and fly to Asia and take on the best lightweights there and win that world title.”