Cleat Geeks

Does Eddie Deserve A Title Shot?

EddieAlvarezInArticlePicLightweight Champion, Rafael Dos Anjos, was supposed to fight Conor McGregor to see if Conor could be the first UFC title holder to hold two title simultaneously. An injury to Dos Anjos forced a bout between McGregor and Nate Diaz, and we all know the rest. Diaz and McGregor will face off in a rematch during UFC 202, but what does that mean for the injured champion? Dos Anjos title would be challenged, but by a somewhat undeserving foe in my opinion. Eddie Alvarez will finally have his first shot at UFC gold when he fights for the lightweight strap Thursday on UFC Fight Pass. When Alvarez was brought over to the UFC, it was well known that a win or two would place him in line for a title, but he seemed to be over-matched from the get go.

His first bout after leaving the Dream organization was no easy task. Alvarez was thrown to the wolves when he had to face a relentless Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. I wasn’t surprised that Eddie lost this fight, but I was surprised to see how he had absolutely no answer for Cerrone in three excruciating rounds. Now, keep in mind, Dos Anjos has made easy work of “Cowboy” on two separate occasions. Following this the loss to Cerrone, Alvarez was able to win a couple of split decisions over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. Each of these fighters have had a bit of a decline in their production, and neither fight was very decisive. I have always appreciated the talent of Eddie Alvarez, even back when he was fighting on Bully Beatdown, but I just haven’t seen much dominance when he is facing top opponents. That is usually the type of thing that we get to see from a contender before they step into the cage against a champion.

Regardless of how he earned his shot, Eddie Alvarez now has a chance to go toe-to-toe with the scariest lightweight in the world. His method of winning has relied heavily on grappling, and closing the distance of his opponents. When you fight Dos Anjos, the last thing you want to do is get into range of his heavy strikes. Cerrone made that mistake in their last fight, and didn’t make it out of the first round when Dos Anjos hit him square in the liver with a body kick. Dos Anjos is currently a -375 betting favorite, and Alvarez a +285 underdog. I expect that Dos Anjos’ line will continue to grow as the bout approaches. I am hoping that Eddie brings everything he has to the cage, but I don’t see him lasting long. A quick win for Rafael may open the door for Conor McGregor to finally complete the super fight, but that only holds some value if Conor can defeat Diaz in their rematch.

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