Eddie Alvarez will go back to his roots by competing in a bare knuckle boxing match. Before becoming a star with Bellator, the UFC and ONE Championship he claims to have competed in hundreds of unsanctioned bouts.

This earned Alvarez the nickname ‘The Underground King’. He has been known for his punching power throughout his MMA career although there is no record of Alvarez ever having competed in boxing.

That will all change on April 29th. Alvarez is set to face former UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes at BKFC 41 with the fight announced on The MMA Hour last night:

Mutual consent

Alvarez won the Bellator lightweight title before running out his contract and signing with the UFC. He would go on to become a huge star with his fight with Conor McGregor at Madison Square Garden one of the most watched in the history of the sport.

Alvarez won the belt by beating Rafael dos Anjos in 2016. But he went up against the Irishman a few months later in a fight that helped generate 1.3 million pay per view buys but saw McGregor snatch the title from the American.

In 2018 he signed with ONE Championship with a view to becoming the first fighter in history to win titles with the three biggest promotions in MMA. But Alvarez would only win one of his four fights for the promotion and was released by mutual consent last year.

Trilogy fight

Alvarez was hoping to sign with the UFC again and face Michael Chandler for a third time. The first match between the two men won ‘fight of the year’ honours across the board in 2011.

But he has been an outspoken critic of the promotion on several issues including fighter pay. Alvarez has a tendency to speak his mind and was also one of the first people to accuse The Liver King of using PEDs.

During The MMA Hour last night Alvarez discussed the upcoming fight between Chandler and Conor McGregor. Having faced both men he is better equipped than most to make predictions and thinks the Irishman will win easily.

UFC veterans

AT BKFC 41 he faces an opponent who has also faced Conor McGregor in a title fight. Mendes replaced the injured Jose Aldo at UFC 189 to challenge the Irishman for the interim featherweight title and lost.

Mendes made his bare knuckle boxing debut earlier this year and won by fourth round stoppage. Having spent his entire MMA career competing at 145lbs he is likely to be at a size disadvantage against Alvarez.

BKFC 41 is set for Denver on April 30th. The main event pits two more UFC veterans together with Mike Perry set to take on Luke Rockhold.