Former UFC, Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Avarez Signs with ONE Championship

Eddie Alvarez UFC Calgary
Eddie Alvarez Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Former UFC and Bellator MMA lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has signed with Asian MMA powerhouse ONE Championship, in a move that instantly adds credibility to a promotion that has been dominating the sport in the East.

Eddie Alvarez is a UFC fighter no more. After weeks of speculation and rumor that Alvarez (29–6 (1)) was considering a deal with ONE Championship, that’s exactly what has played out. ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the news late Monday on his Facebook account.

Please join me in welcoming Eddie Alvarez (29-6) to ONE Championship! Eddie is not only one of the greatest lightweights in history, but he is the only athlete in history to win world titles in both UFC and Bellator. His goal is to become the only person to win all 3 major world titles in the largest global promotions in history. Eddie has fought and beaten some of the greatest martial artists and world champions on the planet, including Rafael dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, Michael Chandler, Gilbert Melendez, Shinya Aoki, Patricky Freire, Roger Huerta, and many others. BOOM!!!

On a personal level, I am super excited for our fans to witness Eddie’s high octane, explosive dynamite KO style. Without a doubt, Eddie brings it every time. Who would you like to see Eddie fight first? Let me know!

It’s time for some 🔥🔥🔥 !!!

Alvarez last fought in July at UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary, Alberta. That night, he found himself finished in the second round by opponent Dustin Poirier. It was the final fight on Alvarez’s UFC deal, making him one of the hottest free agents in the sport.

‘The Underground King’ won the UFC lightweight title two years earlier, in July 2016. Finishing Rafael dos Anjos to capture his second title in a major promotion, Alvarez’s jubilation would be short-lived. That November, he was knocked out by Conor McGregor at UFC 205 in New York. Alvarez would next face Dustin Poirier at UFC 211 in a bout that ended in a No Contest due to illegal knees landed by the former champ. He then defeated Justin Gaethje in the unofficial “Most Violent Man” bout at UFC 218. That led to the rematch with Poirier.

Overall, Alvarez went 4-3 (1NC) in the UFC.

Also a two-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion, Alvarez is likely best known for a pair of thrilling bouts against Michael Chandler. The pair split their career series, and many were hoping for a rubber match. Chandler recently re-signed with Bellator.

Alvarez represents the biggest free agent acquisition by ONE Championship since their signing of former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, who retired last year.