After Friday's Bellator 76 event, his time with the organization may be at an end.
Alvarez completed the final fight on his Bellator contract in highlight fashion, knocking out Patricky "Pitbull" Freire in the final ten seconds of the first round with a beautiful head kick. He almost didn't make it to that point, however, getting rocked by "Pitbull" midway through the round after he scored his own knockdown. Freire cracked him as he got back to his feet and Alvarez needed to recover in the clinch against the cage.
Recover he did, and as the round wound down and he had Freire against the cage, he unleashed a vicious kick to the jaw that Freire leaned into. A follow up punch on the ground was all that was needed and the fight came to an end with six seconds left on the clock.
The win was Alvarez's second straight in 2012 after losing his Bellator title to Michael Chandler last year in an epic bout in November. With his final fight completed, he's officially a free agent, and he's expected to be a target for the UFC in short order.
That idea was supported after the event with an Tweet from UFC President Dana White to Alvarez.
Wrote White: "Congrats Bro!!! Let's talk :)"
Penick's Analysis: Alvarez has long been considered a top fighter in the lightweight division, but competing outside of the UFC has hurt his progression and claim to a top spot. The loss to Chandler sent him down as well, but he can immediately compete in a very competitive division in the UFC, and would be a very welcome name inside the Octagon. If he had any thoughts about moving to featherweight as well, he could really be effective in that weight class as well. For now, the process will work itself out over the next couple of months, but expect Alvarez to be UFC bound by early 2013.
[Eddie Alvarez photo by Henry Dziekan III]