Eddie Alvarez now holds the distinction of being the best fighter in the world not currently under contract with Zuffa (owners of Strikeforce and the UFC).
"Growing up in my neighborhood fighting was very popular, and boxing was popular," Alvarez told MMA Fight Corner presented by FiveKnuckles.com. "So instead of playing stickball and hockey, everyone would have boxing gloves. I used to have two or three sets of boxing gloves and I would take them down the block and knock on my friends door and instead of saying, 'Hey you wanna play some stick ball?' I'd say, 'Hey you wanna fight?'
"So we'd go out to the middle of the street, we'd put the gloves on and people would keep rounds and we'd fight. We'd break when a car came down the block, but that's how we played. It seems weird to some people, but fighting and boxing were like our stickball and our hockey."
"I don't think I'd do well," Alvarez said of trying professional boxing. "Just because in boxing it would be hard for me to make 147. And I know boxers here in Philly at that weight and I spar with them, and I get my ass whooped. They're not no world champions either, but these guys are seriously good. It would be really tough for me. I'd have to develop a whole different style of boxing to be successful.
"Actually Bernard (Hopkins) thinks that I would become a world champion; he said it out of his own mouth that he's never seen an MMA fighter box the way that I box. And I felt good about him saying that, but in the back of my head I'm thinking to myself, 'Nah.' Maybe I'm not as confident in myself as some other people are, but I'm not looking to go into pro boxing any time soon."
"I definitely, 100-percent feel that I have the best hands in the lightweight division. f I watch Melvin Guillard, I definitely see a lot of holes. He's quick, he's explosive, but he gets a little wild.
"My boxing trainer is getting Bernard Hopkins ready for his next fight. I train with some real high-level boxers in Philadelphia and they kick my ass two or three times a week, and they all say that I should maybe consider boxing a little bit. But, when I look out there at the whole spectrum of lightweights, I gotta be honest, I think I have the best boxing in the lightweight division. I think whoever ranked Gilbert Melendez as having the best hands in MMA has got to be on acid or out of their mind."
"How does being unknown correlate in any way, shape, or form to being a good fighter or not. There's a huge difference between being popular and being good. There's a lot of guys out there that are popular, does it mean they're good? No. I could ramble off a ton of fighters who we all know, and they're s---, but that's where a lot of things get mixed up between being unknown, which has no correlation to being a good fighter or not, and I think underground fans are very misguided in that realm."
"Frankie's (Edgar) number one in the world and he deserves to be there. He took on the greatest lightweight of all time twice. He beat him twice. Against the number one contender Grey (Maynard), if I had a scorecard, I would say he beat Grey. Grey did get him that first round, but in my own opinion, watching the fight a couple of times, I think Frankie pulled out the win."
"Me and Frankie already talked about this. He knows the game. We're not selling insurance here we have to fight sometimes. So me and Frankie talked about it and if things come down to it and we have to fight each other we will. Right now, I'm with Bellator for the time being and I have a future with Bellator and there's no conflict of interest. He's trying to be number one in his organization, I want to be number one in my organization and right now we're helping each other."
"Obviously, it's not going to happen now with the UFC acquiring Strikeforce,. They're not going to want anything to do with that, any sort of cross promotions anymore. And why it hasn't happened is because Scott Coker didn't want it to happen. I mean, Gilbert pleaded for it. I never said anything to Gilbert about fighting him. It was Gilbert who went on Inside MMA and started yapping his mouth about, 'I'll offer you out Eddie Alvarez.' He said it into the camera. So that was basically like coming at me. So I called my promoter right away and it's funny because we were thinking about it two days earlier what my next move would be, and I said, 'Hey, how about we try to do something with Strikeforce and try to fight Gilbert Melendez.' And he said, 'Great idea.'
"Well, then next day we saw that, so it was great. I didn't have to be the bad guy and do anything out of my character and offer someone out so, he wanted to fight. I right away sent out press releases and said, 'let's do it, let's fight.' My promoter said, 'let's do it, let's fight' and the only obstacle was Scott Coker. That's it. And I don't know why. If you ask me my opinion I think Gilbert's a lot more confidence in his abilities than his promoter did. When I asked Scott personally about it he fed me a bunch of B.S."
"But there's no bad blood. Gilbert actually came to me and said, 'Look I shouldn't have said anything unless I knew I could get the fight.' And he said the only reason he wanted to fight me is because he thought I was good and whatever. There's no bad blood. It don't matter to me. To be honest, I don't want guys to call me out to fight me, I want people to run from me. So when someone personally calls you out, it's hard not to take it personal because they're basically saying, 'I can beat you.' If I tell a guy I want to fight him, it's because I think I can beat him. It's not because I think I'm going to lose to him."