Eddie Alvarez understands Nate Diaz’s position better than most. Both men are MMA icons, both were born in the same year and both have had well publicized disagreements with the UFC.
Alvarez departed the UFC for ONE Championship in 2018 and knows what it is like to walk way from the biggest MMA promotion in the world. With one fight remaining on his contract Diaz looks set to follow in his footsteps, although no-one knows what his eventual destination will be
The fight with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279 will be the final one on Diaz’ current deal. It is a very tough fight for the American but Alvarez says he had no choice but to accept it.
‘They were trying to make it (the Khamzat fight) in the beginning when they were getting Nate out of his contract and they finally got it done. I think Nate’s tired of the back and forth,” Alvarez explained in an interview with Helen Yee.
Stand and bang
Alvarez is something of a veteran when it comes to changing promotions. Having fought out his contract with both Bellator and the UFC he if very familiar with the situation Dias is currently in,
“We’ve all been there with promotions where I’m like, ‘hey, I’m done, give me my last fight I wanna be free’ and I feel like Nate’s finally saying ‘give me my last fight’ and they’re saying, ‘alright well this is your guy’.”
Promotions don’t generally want fighters who are on the verge of leaving to finish with a win. Diaz is a massive underdog heading into the bout with Chimaev but Alvarez does see a glimmer of hope for him,
“He’s got an uphill battle. If he wrestles the style match-up could be really bad for Nate. But he (Chimaev) showed in that Gilbert (Burns) fight that he’ll stand and bang. And if he does that, Nate could put him away,” he added.
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Alvarez was in LA discussing the collaboration between ONE Championship and Amazon Prime. 12 events a year are going to be broadcast on the platform per year in North America.
The deal will give ONE Championship exposure to a new generation of fans and Alvarez believes that viewers are in for a treat,
“If you were a fan of Pride back in the day it’s kind of nostalgic because the way they set up the audience (and) the fighters in the beginning and announce them it feels like old school Pride. It feels traditional martial arts – what it was in the beginning. It’s just a whole different feel and it’s a whole different way of fighting and I think the fans will be blown back about what they see in the value of production,” he said.
Alvarez has not been seen inside the circle since losing a unanimous decision to current ONE lightweight champion Ok Rae Yoon last year. The 37 year old says he’s in talks with the promotion regarding his next move and hopes to be able to reveal something soon.
“That’s what I’m here in LA discussing. My future here and where my fights are going to be at. We’ll have some news coming hopefully.”