After losing the belt from Conor McGregor’s sniper left hand and an unfortunate no contest with Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez is on his journey back to the UFC lightweight title. He’s coaching the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Justin Gaethje. If he’s able to derail Gaethje’s hype train, Alvarez (#3) could be next in line for a title shot. That is, if Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson weren’t fighting for the interim lightweight strap. Recently on the Talking Brawls podcast, Eddie Alvarez weighed-in on the match-up.
“Who are [Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson]? Who are they? I don’t even know what that fight is. I don’t know what happened there. Out of nowhere, they made an interim belt and had Lee fight Ferguson. This is very odd for me what went on there. I’m surprised at that one, not all the matchmaking, just that in particular one. It seems like I did [The Ultimate Fighter 26], like alright, I’m going to do the show, I’m going to fight Justin [Gaethje] and work my way back to a number one contender and stuff like that.”
— Niall McGrath (@niallmcgrath4) September 13, 2017
“Then, out of nowhere, they put up a belt and then put them two guys to fight for it. I’m like, [Kevin Lee] beats Mike Chiesa and he gets a title shot? That was very odd for me. I had to fight Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Milendez, Rafael dos Anjos – I had to fight these guys in order to prove myself and get a title shot. This guy won against a TUF winner and gets a title shot? It was very weird for me.”
Lightweight has always been a shark tank, but it looks like the division is getting even more crazy. Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, Eddie Alvarez and now Justin Gaethje are all at war for the top, while we wait to see when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor may pop back in from the sidelines. Alvarez and Gaethje will fight at The Ultimate Fighter 26 finale on December 1st.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/13/2017.