As Eddie Alvarez prepares for his first Bellator title defense, he's close to home and having his easiest weight cut ever. He's also hungry, confident, and as always, feels like he has something to prove. Common wisdom has people believing that this is all bad news for the young Pat Curran but Alvarez knows the danger of an underdog with nothing to lose. The challenger is a prime example.
Alvarez spoke to FiveKnuckles.com's Mike Williams about Curran, training with Frankie Edgar, and Zuffa's acquisition of Strikeforce.
FiveKnuckles.com: Are you happy to finally be defending your title for the first time?
Eddie Alvarez: Yeah, man. I wish it was in Philly but it's not far away, only five hours, right in Connecticut. I was able to do most of my weight cut at home so I'm happy about that.
FK: I saw on Twitter that you're using a different method of cutting weight. It's going well for you?
EA: Yeah it is. It's nothing crazy or secretive. I'm doing the gallons of water thing. I never did it before but now that I'm trying it, it's really working. Me and Lyman Good were cross-training like a week ago and he was giving me some tips and pointers on how to better get rid of the water and cut the weight more effectively while still being energetic.
FK: These Bellator tournaments have been full of surprises. Most people expected to see you and Jorge Masvidal in the finals in '09 and it didn't work out that way. Roger Huerta entered the 2010 tournament as the favorite and here you are facing Pat Curran.
EA: That's what fighting's all about. When you have CEOs and match-makers making the matches and the fights aren't in the fighter's hands, then it's going to be a lot more predictable because they're trying to protect their marketable fighters. This way keeps the integrity of the sport that's how you know that a fight's a fight and anybody can win at any given time. It's not about taking a guy and making him a fake world-beater. You're going to know who's the best. Whether a guy is well-known or not, if he wins the tournament he gets the shot at the belt.
FK: What do you see in Curran?
EA: He's young. He's hungry and he's got some momentum. He's been upsetting everyone so he has that on his side. Maybe he feels confident that he can pull of another upset just because he's been getting them all in a row but I'm ready. I'm more prepared than I've ever been and he's going to be more prepared than ever too. I'm going to go in there and get after him and get him out of there like everybody expects me to and like I expect myself to. I don't get paid any extra for overtime so I'm going to try to get after him and get him out of there as soon as possible.
FK: I spoke with Ricardo Almeida not long ago and he was talking about how much he enjoyed having you there doing some training with him and Frankie Edgar and those guys. What has that experience been like for you?
EA: Those guys welcome me just like I'm a team mate. They show me some tricks of the trade, we trade secrets and I learn a lot over there, man. I'm very happy with my relationship with those guys. I'll do whatever I can to make them...