Pick'em Leagues: THE BIG SHOW CASUAL BEST OF THE REST Single Event PvP: FANTASY POOLS Betting Leagues: THE BIG SHOW BEST OF THE REST
  MMA Playground 4.0 is live!     Returning members: check out the patch notes     New members: visit our getting started guide, read the FAQ's and start playing!

Eddie Alvarez anxious for DREAM challenge

Print  
Posted By Message

Twenty20Dollars

Heavyweight Champ

5




 
 
 


 
 
Posts:12,772
Career:1,572-1,001
Joined:Jun 2007
Chips:
1,196
link

With nearly a month remaining before the finals of DREAM's inaugural lightweight tournament, rising star Eddie Alvarez (14-1) has begun preparations for what will be the most formidable test of his young career.

Alvarez is slated to face the highly respected Tatsuya Kawajiri in the July 21 semifinal bout in Osaka, Japan. A victory would mean returning later that evening to take on the winner of the night's other semifinal bout between submission ace Shinya Aoki and longtime veteran Caol Uno.

Alvarez discussed the task at hand while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

"Well that's why we fight, right?" Alvarez asked. "To see how good we are, and go and compete against the best. When I hired (agent) Monte Cox at the beginning of the year, I told him that there's two things that I wanted to do for 2008. I wanted to fight a lot more because I'm young. I'm 24, and I wanted to get the ring time in, the experience. And I wanted to fight top-notch guys. He's done that for me."

The young Philadelphia native will certainly get a chance to test himself against the sport's best, as Kawajiri and Aoki are both generally considered among the top 10 lightweights in the world. Add in the possibility of fighting 30 minutes in one night, and the challenge becomes even greater.

Alvarez, however, welcomes the opportunity and feels conditioning will be the deciding factor in the end.

"I think a key factor in the finals of this fight is going to be conditioning," Alvarez said. "I think me and Kawajiri present a lot of the same strengths. And I think what he's good at, I'm either equal or a little bit better. So I think what it's going to come down to is more heart and mind and conditioning than skill set. ... I think it's just going to be who prepares properly and who controls the pace of the fight."

Alvarez has already proven himself worthy of his final-four status through his performance in the first two rounds of the tournament. Alvarez battled back from an early knockdown in his first round match with Andre Amade to win by knockout, and he then fought valiantly in a decision win over Joachim Hansen -- a fight many consider among the year's best.

"It was a flash thing," Alvarez said of the knockdown against Amade. "It was like a quick flash. We were exchanging, and it was right in the middle of an exchange. He came with an overhand right. Honestly, I couldn't even tell you (because) it was so fast. One second I was standing, fighting, and the next second I was on my butt. And I just said, 'I can't stay here. Get up.' And we kept going.

"Joachim, yeah, tough cat. There's not a lot of times when I hit someone and they keep coming at me. He's one of those guys, and I hate those guys. I just like for them to stay down after I hit them and make my job a lot easier. ... Joachim is a hell of a dude. We went out. We had dinner a day after the fight. (We) laughed and joked about the fight. He's a great sport and a great character. I really like Joachim, and I'm sure he'll be back in DREAM with the kind of fights he puts on."

After withstanding two game opponents, Alvarez knows he'll now need to outlast two more. But for now, his focus remains solely on Kawajiri.

"The main thing is to worry about my first-round opponent," Alvarez said. "It's good to scout all of them, but if I don't get past Kawajiri, then I'm not achieving my goal, and that's to win the tournament. I think the main thing is to focus on [Kawajiri], and him mostly. I think the second fight, it really just comes down to your heart and mind."

The task is certainly daunting. A tournament victory would take Alvarez winning his fourth and fifth fight in just six months. But for Alvarez, who plans on finally taking a break to get married in September, there's no other way he'd rather live.

"I love it," Alvarez said. "I've been training for six, seven straight months with no break. I get maybe 14 days off, then I'm back on the horse again training for the next round of the tournament. So I'm glad they're cramming it all in. If I had to do the whole tournament in one night, and go back, I'd do it that way."

Alvarez also discussed how he's been able to stay in good condition throughout this fight-filled year, why he's so popular in Japan, and why this won't be the first time he's had more than one opponent in a night. To hear the full interview, download the June 16 edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.

Post #1   6/23/08 3:53:34PM   

juanez13

P4P

juanez13 Avatar
2

 
 
 


 
 
Posts:4,334
Career:575-288
Joined:Jul 2007
Chips:
767
He, and Hansen had been my dark horses since the start of the tournament, im confident he'll take this fight......he has looked great, and even better since dropping to LW,Looking foward to seeing more of him in the future, and hopefully he'll find his way into the UFC sooner than later...IMO i think he'd do great in the UFC, his got a solid wrestling background, a good chin, and good boxing with big power.

Post #2   6/23/08 3:59:14PM