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Bellator Books Eddie Alvarez vs. Josh Neer

Bellator Fighting Championships has announced that Eddie Alvarez, the lightweight champion who is widely regarded as the promotion's best and most popular fighter, will take on former UFC fighter Josh Neer in a non-title bout in May.

"I've seen Josh Neer fight, and he's a banger," said Alvarez, who's recovering after having arthroscopic knee surgery a month ago. "I love this fight because he never puts on a dull fight and those are the kinds of matches that suit me the best. I expect my knee to be 100 percent soon and I'm expecting that this is going to be my best performance ever."

The date of the fight has not yet been determined. Also yet to be determined is the weight class the bout will be contested in; although both Alvarez and Neer have fought at lightweight in the past, Bellator referred to the bout as a catchweight in its announcement. UPDATE: The bout will be contested at 160 pounds.

"This is definitely a tough fight because Alvarez is a really explosive fighter and one of the top two or three lightweights in the world," Neer said. "I think that if I beat him, it would be a huge win for me and would really help me increase my notoriety. It's a great opportunity."

Although he was dropped by the UFC after suffering back-to-back losses, Neer is a dangerous fighter whose UFC record includes wins over Mac Danzig, Din Thomas, Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard. He won't be an easy opponent for Alvarez.

But it will be a good fight. Bellator has done a great job of planning for its second season (which begins on Thursday, April 8), and Alvarez-Neer is one more fight for MMA fans to look forward to.