With KJ Noons stripped of his lightweight strap, EliteXC is trying to establish a new ruler of its 160-pound class, and the front-runners should come as no surprise. As rising star Eddie Alvarez recently told MMA Weekly, “We’re about 90-something percent positive I’ll be fighting Nick Diaz for the EliteXC title at 160.” Bout agreements have yet to be signed, but Alvarez has reportedly inked a new six-fight contract with EliteXC, and is ready to return to the U.S. after an outstanding run as a 154-pounder in DREAM’s lightweight grand prix. “I like 160,” the 23-year-old Philadelphia native said. “I feel like at 160 I’m stronger, I’m faster, I’m not as depleted as I am at 155.”
While competing in Japan this year, Alvarez came out on the winning end of two fight-of-the-year candidates, a wild 15-minute battle with Joachim Hansen at DREAM 3 in May, and an absolute slugfest against Tatsuya Kawajiri in the grand prix semi-finals in July. Unfortunately, an eye injury prevented him from advancing to the finals, and Joachim Hansen was able to take his spot as an alternate and defeat Shinya Aoki to win the tournament. Though a second fight against Hellboy would truly determine who deserves to wear DREAM’s lightweight belt, Alvarez now says that DREAM is behind him
If it comes together, the fight between Alvarez and Nick Diaz would most likely go down at EliteXC’s November 8th event (name and location TBA), which will be broadcast on Showtime.