Eddie Alvarez has been a champion in every fight promotion he has fought in. This didn’t change when he entered the UFC after several great wars inside the Bellator cage. “The Underground King” shocked the UFC world and defied the odds when he ran through one of the greatest lightweights in UFC history last July, when he knocked out reigning champion Rafael dos Anjos in the first round to claim UFC gold.
After the belt was wrapped around Alvarez’s waist, his first post-fight interview as champion took place. He let it be known to all opponents that they better not bring the dog out of him. Alvarez’s dog mentality puts him in a place where nothing will stop him from getting what he wants, and it would take a referee pulling him off of his opponent. The dog mentality is what made Alvarez come to be known as “The Underground King.” This same dog mentality is what helped Alvarez defeat dos Anjos. And the dog mentality is what gave Alvarez everything he needed to stand up to Conor McGregor.
While McGregor made history by defeating Alvarez at UFC 205 to became the first-ever champion to reign over two divisions at the same time inside the UFC, Alvarez never seemed shook by the Irish superstar in all the press conferences and conversations leading up to the fight. Alvarez stood his ground and even fired back toward McGregor during their mental warfare leading up to the fight. Just as two dogs barking back and forth, neither of them backed down.
UFC 205 is the last time Alvarez stepped inside the Octagon, but he returns with another top fight at UFC 211 against Dustin Poirier. The former champion looks to get back to his title-contending ways. With the division up in the air due to McGregor’s absence and pursuit of a fight against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr., an impressive showing from Alvarez could put him right back in the title picture.
There’s not only uncertainty with the champion, but also the top two contenders, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, who had their fight canceled. Nurmagomedov was pulled from the contest after experiencing issues during his weight cut. Alvarez stands just behind the three aforementioned men at the top of the rankings, and one can only assume a win against Poirier gets the conversation going about a possible McGregor/Alvarez rematch or a fight between Alvarez and one of the top contenders.
The dog mentality should surely be back for Alvarez in his upcoming scrap with Poirier. He lost what was once his — the gold belt and the top of the lightweight division. With the belt comes stardom. With the belt comes success. With the belt comes the opportunity to make the most money possible.
The dog mentality is what made Alvarez who he is today as a fighter and as a person. The dog mentality is one that not many fighters can have. Alvarez has it, and at UFC 211, the dog mentality returns.