Eddie Alvarez explains why he’s choosing to fight out UFC contract against Dustin Poirier

Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier

When Eddie Alvarez steps into the cage with Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC Calgary this Saturday night, he’ll complete the final obligation on his current UFC contract.

Fighting out a UFC contract in this way is always a big risk for a fighter — but the payoff can be huge. Lose, and you greatly reduce your bargaining tools when attempting to negotiate a new deal. Win, however, and you’ve made yourself a much more valuable commodity, which means it’ll be easier to procure a pay increase.

Speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Eddie Alvarez explained why he’s gambling on himself in this way.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why not to — that’s why,” Alvarez said (transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting). “I haven’t been given any reason why not to. I guess that’s the best I can say. If I was given enough where I thought, ‘Hey, it’s not worth the risk,’ I’d say, ‘OK, I’m not gonna roll the dice here, this is very good, this is what I feel I’m worth and I’m just gonna keep going and going.’ But I haven’t really been given a good enough offer to not take the risk that I’m willing to take.”

Whatever the case, Eddie Alvarez expects to get a new deal done with the UFC, as the amount he’s currently being and the amount he hopes to paid aren’t all that far apart.

“I think we’d get a deal done for sure,” Alvarez said. “We’re just not there yet. I know with the UFC, you never know when you strike a deal. But I’m patient. I’ve learned to be patient, because in the past I’ve gotten ahead of myself and maybe left a lot of money on the table. I don’t know. I think what’s fair is fair and every fighter, it’s a very individual thing, how much each fighter deserves and should get paid. I think I bring a lot of value and when I fight I make this company a lot of money and I make a lot of fans excited. I want to be shared with a little bit more than what I’m being shared with. That’s all.”

“I don’t believe [the amount I want is] significant, no,” Alvarez added. “Considering how much the company makes, no. It’s peanuts — it’s a quarter. They’d be flicking me a quarter, considering what they make when I fight. What I’m asking for is not just what i feel I deserve right now. In the past eight fights, I look at who I fought — co-main and main events, some of the largest cards in UFC history. With the McGregor fight, sell out crowd, selling out MSG. I’ve been involved in some pretty lucrative and I feel like I should be shared with a little more considering. It is what it is. That’s business, man. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”

Do you think Eddie Alvarez can defeat Dustin Poirier and negotiate a lucrative new UFC contract thereafter?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/23/2018.