“I don’t think fans wanna tune in to see me wrestle. They damn sure don’t tune in to see me do Brazilian jiu-jitsu. So, why not cut the fat and get right to the meat and potatoes.”
That’s former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez, 39 — one of the greatest lightweight mixed martial artists in history — on why he’s decided to leave MMA for bare knuckle boxing.
Alvarez recently inked a deal with BKFC … and will fight 37-year-old fellow former UFC star Chad Mendes on April 29.
The men have over 60 pro MMA fights combined (Eddie has 40), but Alvarez points out the sports are considerably different, including the fact that cuts are very prevalent.
“There’s a lot of little subtleties that I learned when I went to the event myself. Usually you get cut about a minute or two into the fight, typically there’s a cut that goes on and you have to learn and you gotta learn to fight with that,” Eddie says.
And, cuts are a serious factor, according to Alvarez, who says seeing one’s own blood can screw with a fighter’s head.
“Some guys could be world champs, undefeated. Never seen their own blood and when they do, you get to see the bitch in them real quick. You need to see your own blood a few times,” Eddie tells us, adding, “I’m very familiar with my own blood. I know what it tastes like, smells like, and oftentimes I don’t feel like I’m in a fight until I’m cut.”
The Underground King says there are more differences between the sport.
“There’s even smaller margin for error. And it’s a sprint, not a marathon. You need to be ready when that bell rings. There’s no feeling out process.”
Eddie and Chad aren’t the only combat sports stars on the card. Former UFC champ Luke Rockhold is also boxing former UFC star “Platinum” Mike Perry the same night, and we spoke to the 38-year-old fighter.
“It’s different, it’s intriguing, and it’s f****** scary. F****** crazy shit. I’m a f****** crazy man.”
Aside from being a great fighter, Rockhold’s also a model (he was previously the face of a Polo Ralph Lauren advertising campaign), so we asked him he if was concerned about his moneymaker getting damaged (see Eddie’s comments above about the cuts).
“Do I seem like I’m worried about my face?” Luke joked, adding … “Mike Perry should be worried about his face cause I plan on putting it right on his f****** nose!”
“I wanna make that nose a little more crooked.”