Eddie Alvarez was happy with his decision to sign with ONE Championship, but as his contract — and career — winds down, the former UFC lightweight champion made the decision to try and produce an amicable exit from the promotion.
Alvarez recently revealed that he and ONE Championship were able to do just that, but he wasn’t specific as to the reasoning behind it until now, revealing on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour that he wants to finish out his career in his home country.
“The contract was coming to an end, and I spoke with my agent and I told him, ‘I would like my career to finish up in the United States.’ And when we originally sat down with ONE, the idea was that [they] would progressively move to the U.S.,” Alvarez said on The MMA Hour. “The plan was to have fights in Asia, and then my idea in my head was I would start in Asia, and towards the end of my contract, we would move closer to the U.S. and eventually get a fight there.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic threw a wrench into all of those plans and slowed the progression of that up by a lot.
“I’m going to more than likely be signing my last contract, and I just want to be fighting here in the United States,” Alvarez continued. “I really want and need to fight in the United States to finish my career here.”
Alvarez went 1-2, with a no contest over his four-fight run with ONE.
“The Underground King” left the UFC following a second-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC on FOX 30 in July 2018.
Prior to that, Alvarez had a very public dispute with former Bellator head Bjorn Rebney. As far as his relationship with ONE, Alvarez says no bridges were burned.
“One-hundred percent [we’re on good terms],” Alvarez explained. “I’ve only had one bad split with one company, and it was public. Everybody knew about it. I never want to be involved in anything like that again. I never did ever since then, and I don’t think I ever will. I’m an adult. I know the sport, I know the business. I try to add value to whatever promotion I go to. The people that I sign with, they know that. Besides the one promotion, I never really had a reason to butt heads with anybody.”
As far as where Alvarez might end up, he says he has meetings set up with “all of the biggest names” in regards to promotions beginning in early October.
One organization that seems to be the favorite amongst the MMA community would be Alvarez signing with the PFL, which is something the 38-year-old would be open to, most notably because he favors the season structure.
While that would be a fresh coat of paint in terms of his career résumé, Alvarez would also be more than happy to return to the two organizations in the U.S. that he helped boost, and vice versa, in the UFC and Bellator.
“Yes [I would return to the UFC],” Alvarez said. “Yeah [I would go back to Bellator]. My messy divorce was with Bjorn Rebney, it wasn’t with Scott Coker. I was freed by Scott Coker.
“My issue was never with Bellator the name — I had a spat with the president and that president got fired.
“But as long as there’s big fights and big names involved in that company, I’ll more than likely say yes and keep my options open.”