Bellator fighters still competing for national respect

nullWith all the media buzz over Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce last month, many media pundits were left to wonder what competition was left for the premiere company in MMA—the UFC.

Cleary Zuffa owns the two most notable promotions, but there are still plenty of other organizations that are trying to establish MMA stars.

One of those promotions is Bellator, which will be hosting another card tonight featuring a lightweight championship bout with Eddie Alvarez defending his title against Pat Curran. The show will air live on MTV2 at 9 p.m.

Alvarez is 21-2 in his MMA career with 19 stoppage wins. Some feel he is earning his spot in the top 10 of the lightweight rankings, but as Alvarez told’s Mike Whitman, rankings are “nonsense”

“I understand that in order to get in the rankings, you have to first gain popularity. And I’ve been saying this over and over. There are going to be guys in the next couple of years from Bellator who are going to be ranked in the top-10, and that’s not necessarily because they are better than the UFC guys,” said Alvarez during Wednesday’s media conference call.

“[The rankings] are very subjective and very political. I think it’s more of a popularity contest than a talent contest. Rankings, to me, are just a way to negotiate my money with a promotion. Other than that, they hold no bearing. It’s all nonsense. A No. 1 guy can lose to a No. 10 guy any day of the week.”

Looking at his career, Alvarez does hold recent wins over former UFC contenders Roger Huerta and Josh Neer, but he also has suffered losses to Shinya Aoki and Nick Thompson.

A lot of times we like to look at a guy’s record and deem him a certain caliber, but that won’t satisfy my eye test.

How would Alvarez fair against the best of the UFC lightweight division? Would he be able to beat someone like Clay Guida or Gray Maynard? What about the Strikeforce lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez?

In today’s day and age a good fighter should be able to find a way to fight on the biggest stage. Alvarez may have a contract to live up to but once that is complete, if he has the talent, he should be able to get signed by one of the Zuffa companies.

It is kind of like Jesse Eisenberg said in “The Social Network”, if you are good enough to fight in the UFC, you’d be fighting in the UFC.

While I won’t dismiss Alvarez’ talents, because some were quick to point out that the WEC lightweights would struggle in the UFC and they have done anything but, I will still take his success with a grain of salt until he fights on the big stage.


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