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Eddie Alvarez signs with UFC, fights Donald Cerrone in UFC 178 co-main event

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former two-time Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has inked an exclusive deal with the UFC, and is now scheduled to make his long-awaited promotional debut against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. That bout will serve as the co-main event of the September 27th pay-per-view.

UFC officials announced the signing on Tuesday, less than 12 hours after new Bellator president Scott Coker granted Alvarez his unconditional release from his Bellator contract.

UFC 178 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alvarez (25-3) enters having defeated 10 of his previous 11 opponents, eight of which he finished via stoppage. The 30-year-old is widely considered to be one of the top lightweight fighters in the world, and most recently avenged his loss to Michael Chandler by capturing a narrow split decision victory over the former Bellator champion last November.

Cerrone (24-6, 1 NC) is currently the No. 4 ranked lightweight on the UFC's roster. Nicknamed "Cowboy," the daring 31-year-old has racked up four straight victories over the past 10 months, all of which Cerrone ended via stoppage, and all of which drew post-fight bonuses for his efforts.

Cerrone's initial opponent, Bobby Green, is expected to receive a new match-up at a yet-to-be-determined date.

An updated UFC 178 fight card can be seen below.

  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez
  • Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki
  • Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero
  • Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. James Krause
  • Stephen Thompson vs. Patrick Cote
  • Brian Ebersole vs. John Howard
  • Kevin Lee vs. Jon Tuck
  • Manny Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson