UFC: 5 Possible Opponents for Eddie Alvarez in His UFC Debut

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IIJanuary 9, 2013

UFC: 5 Possible Opponents for Eddie Alvarez in His UFC Debut

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    The UFC has made it clear that they are hoping to acquire the services of former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez. After the completion of his last contractual obligation with the tournament-based organization, Dana White and crew submitted an offer to Alvarez in hopes of stealing him away. 

    Knowing a good thing when he sees it, Bellator president Bjorn Rebney believes that he matched the offer, which is a right he has based on the language of Alvarez's original contract. Eddie seems to disagree.

    "The Silent Assassin" sees the UFC as a fine dining experience and compared Bellator's offer to McDonalds. While both organizations offered to metaphorically feed him dinner, there is no doubt that one meal will taste considerably better than the other.

    Right now, Alvarez is reportedly being sued by Bellator, which strongly implies that he told Bjorn Rebney to take his Big Mac and fries somewhere else. Assuming that legal hurdles are cleared properly, the former lightweight champion should be signing a UFC contract sooner rather than later.

    However, in the event that Eddie cannot get legal clearance to join the UFC, we can at least enjoy fantasizing about some of the potential matchups that await the world-ranked lightweight inside the Octagon.

    With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most fitting opponents for Alvarez on the UFC roster.

Nate Diaz

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    By the time that Eddie Alvarez actually debuts in the UFC, I expect that Nate Diaz will have returned to the win column and will be looking for a high-profile showcase that offers him a chance to put a hurting on anyone who has ever bad-mouthed him or his Cesar Gracie teammates.


    Looks to me like Alvarez falls into that category based on his December tweeting about reigning Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.

    Melendez is likely to get a UFC title shot in his promotional debut. However, it's not like the Cesar Gracie boys are opposed to fighting for one another. After all, remember what happened to Jason Miller in Nashville? And that happened because "Mayhem" had the nerve to ask for a rematch.

    Can you begin to fathom how furious Diaz and Co. must be about Alvarez claiming that Melendez has a desire to "suck off every new QB"?

Diego Sanchez/Takanori Gomi Winner

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    There is a solid possibility that legal issues will keep Eddie Alvarez out of action until mid-summer. If that is the case, whoever he faces will likely have a fight between now and then.

    In early March, an intriguing lightweight battle between Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez and PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi will take place. The UFC on FUEL 8 contest will either be a successful return to 155 pounds for Sanchez, or it will solidify the belief that Takanori Gomi has returned to form.

    In either situation, the winner has both name value and in-ring acumen that is hard to match. Alvarez would not be in for an easy night, but finding victory would quiet down those who are drinking Alvarez Hater-Ade.

Jamie Varner

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    Hot off the heels of a memorable 2012, Jamie Varner has high hopes for 2013, including a crack at former foes who got the best of him. While Eddie Alvarez has never bested Varner in the past, considering his high-profile nature, there is little doubt that Varner would be pleased with this booking.

    Think about the pairing. Two lightweights who were formerly champions of an organization that many deemed inferior to the UFC. It's almost poetic.

    Varner may not have the gas tank to go at Alvarez's pace for three rounds, however, his power double-leg takedowns could plant "The Silent Assassin" on his back and fight in a territory that doesn't favor him. 

Jim Miller

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    Coming off arguably the best win of his professional career, Jim Miller is a man who is looking to make some waves, and hopefully, reestablish himself as a fixture of the UFC's lightweight division.

    Before a pair of setbacks to Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz, Miller was riding the momentum of seven consecutive wins inside the Octagon. Still, when you consider that his other career losses came at the hands of Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar, you can see why the New Jersey native has received criticism from those who view his professional losses as a sign that he simply isn't a member of the division's elite.

    Every fighter has doubters out there. Jim Miller is one of them. Eddie Alvarez is another. They both fight in the lightweight division and are each hoping to one day fight for the UFC lightweight championship.

    In the words of Big John McCarthy, "Let's get it on!"

Gray Maynard

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    The UFC might not have a clone of Michael Chandler, but Gray Maynard is about as close as they come.

    Maynard, the two-time UFC title contender, has monstrous wrestling that allows him to dictate the location of most fights. When you consider that his hands have enormous power, a scrap between these two top-ranked lightweights could end up looking very similar to the fight that Yahoo! Sports named 2011 Fight of the Year.

    This would be my choice for Alvarez's UFC debut. It's sink or swim, and for all of the outspoken fans who fall on either side of the fence, this fight could illustrate exactly where Eddie belongs.