According to SCMP there has been a parting of the ways between Eddie Alvarez and ONE Championship. The former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion has been released from his contract and is now a free agent.
Alvarez signed with ONE Championship hoping to become the first fighter in history to win titles with the three biggest promotions in the world. But his career did not get off to the best start when he was knocked out by Timofey Nastyukhin on his promotional debut.
Alvarez did bounce back with a come from behind win over Eduard Folayang. But he then spent nearly two years on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury and seeing bouts fall through during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eddie Alvarez made an incredible comeback in this fight against Eduard Folayang 🤯 @Ealvarezfight #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/s6CwBOai0E
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 19, 2021
His return did not go entirely according to plan either. He was originally disqualified for striking Iuri Lapicus on the back of the head although the result was subsequently overturned and goes down on his record as a no contest.
His final fight for ONE Championship was against Ok Rae Yoon and the Korean claimed a clear cut decision win over the 38 year old. Alvarez remains one of the most recognizable fighters in the lightweight division but will be disappointed to have earned just one win from his four fights for the promotion.
Alvarez will not be short of suitors and should find plenty of other promotions willing to bid for his services despite having won just two of his last eight fights. Six years ago he was the reigning UFC lightweight champion and preparing for the biggest bout of his life.
WHAT A PERFORMANCE 🏆🏆
We rewind to #UFC205 when @TheNotoriousMMA became the double champ! pic.twitter.com/WH1RCsiFuy
— UFC (@ufc) September 13, 2018
In 2016 he faced Conor McGregor in what Dana White billed as ‘the biggest event in UFC history’. Over 1.3 million people purchased the pay per view and it reportedly broke box office records at Madison Square Garden.
Alvarez lost his lightweight title after being stopped in the second round by McGregor at UFC 205. With two wins from his next seven fights the veteran’s career has taken something of a nosedive since that lucrative night.
Having signed what he described as ‘an eight figure deal’ with ONE Championship the 38 year old has already achieved a level of financial security most fighters could only dream of. But if Alvarez still has the desire to compete he probably won’t be short of offers.
His dream of becoming the first fighter to capture titles with the UFC, ONE Championship and Bellator appears to be dead. But Alvarez will want to show that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division and it will be interesting to see where he heads next.
Confirmed ,I am no longer with ONE. We parted ways amicably and I remain on good terms with the ONE team. I want to thank Chatri for the opportunity and I look forward to watching their continued success. I’m officially a free agent and Ready to Hunt 👊🏼🔪 Tell me whose next ?UGK
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) September 21, 2022
Alvarez took to Twitter to confirm the story and to make it clear he remains ‘on good terms’ with everyone at ONE Championship. He is definitely not contemplating retirement and makes it clear to any matchmakers reading that he is ‘officially a free agent’.
While his allure is probably not as great as it was before his unsuccessful stint with ONE Championship the 38 year old is an MMA legend. He has faced the likes of Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki as well as McGregor.
His career began back in 2003 and he will be celebrating 20 years as a professional mixed martial artist soon. After all this time Alvarez is still ‘ready to hunt’ and he will surely fight again, just not on a ONE Championship card.