Joachim Hansen takes on Eddie Alvarez in the second round of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix. MMAWeekly caught up with both competitors before they face off May 11 in Saitama, Japan.
Joachim Hansen is coming off back-to-back wins, entering this fight as the favorite, but many feel Eddie Alvarez is the dark-horse to win the tournament.
"We have similar styles and it's going to be a good fight," Hansen told MMAWeekly.com.
Alvarez respects Hansen's abilities and agrees with his assessment of their fighting styles. "Even before this tournament, I was a big fan of Joachim," said Alvarez. "I like the way Joachim fights. He's much like myself. He fights to finish the fight, not to win the fight, and I think the two of our styles, the way we clash, it can only make for the most exciting fight of the tournament."
This is the biggest fight of Alvarez' career and the American fighter recognizes the opportunity before him. "I realize the opportunity that's ahead of me, and it's allowed myself to push myself beyond barriers that I've ever pushed myself," said Alvarez.
"I believe this is the finals match. It's unfortunate that it has to happen so soon, but if we didn't get to fight, it would also be unfortunate. If we're going to fight, we might as well do it now and give the fans what they want to see. I think it's a great match up."
Hansen is a natural lightweight and has competed in that division his entire career. Alvarez recently moved down to the lightweight division from the 170-pound welterweight class. "I've been training very hard this time, so I'm a little bit under weight," commented Hansen. "I'm eating a lot to make the weight."
Alvarez will have a size advantage over Hansen, and expects to enter the ring well above the 154 weight limit after re-hydrating following stepping on the scales for the weigh-ins.
"I usually start my cut around 176, something like that, 176 pounds and I cut my weight down to 154 ," stated Alvarez.Link