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Alvarez committed to BKFC but won't rule out UFC return


Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez feels at home in BKFC.

Alvarez crossed over to bare-knuckle boxing earlier in 2023 after a 20-year run in MMA and immediately left a mark on the sport, beating Chad Mendes in his thrilling debut.

Next, Alvarez is scheduled to take on Mike Perry in a 175-pound bout that headlines the BKFC 56 pay-per-view event Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Speaking with theScore earlier this week, "The Underground King" said he is focused on this latest chapter of his illustrious career and "100%" sees BKFC as a long-term fit.

"This is my place," Alvarez said. "I found my home here. I love the guys there. And (BKFC president) Dave Feldman, he's a Philly guy, so who better? I want to help build this company, and I want to help put it on the map."

Alvarez, who competed in Bellator before his UFC tenure and is one of two fighters to win championships in both promotions, views BKFC's potential the same way he did Bellator's in the early 2010s.

"I can see whether it's gonna do well, whether this ship's gonna sink or whether it's gonna stay afloat for a while," Alvarez said. "Just the small decisions that are being made, and the team around bare knuckle, I know it's gonna do well. I know it is. And I'm investing myself in it. I can't wait for it to get its due."

Perry is another former UFC fighter who has found success in BKFC, rattling off three straight wins since his 2022 debut. He is also what drew Alvarez to bare-knuckle boxing in the first place.

"Mike Perry just seemed like the only name that I was interested in," Alvarez said. "He seemed like he had the most juice, the most attention. ... I know Mike Perry was the guy. He was the guy we were after from the beginning."

But Alvarez ended up facing Mendes in his first BKFC fight instead, as the co-main event to Perry's TKO victory over former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in April. In hindsight, it was for the best, as Alvarez believes the Perry bout is bigger now than it would've been eight months ago.

"I'm kind of glad that it played out the way it did," Alvarez said. "It allowed me to get my feet wet, get inside the circle, and do my thing. It allowed him to get a big win and kind of get on a small collision course to fight me."

When asked if he'll end his combat sports career as a BKFC fighter, Alvarez wasn't sure. Bare-knuckle fighting is his priority, but he won't rule out a return to the UFC.

"There always is (a chance)," Alvarez said. "Look, in UFC, you have Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje. Any one of those fights, I'm throwing my hat in. If the fans wanna see it - that's a whole lot of violence. I think the fans deserve it. Any one of those fights would be beautiful."

Something Alvarez doesn't see happening is a fight against Nate Diaz, the former UFC star who parted ways with the promotion as a free agent last year. Diaz is coming off a loss in a boxing match against Jake Paul in August and isn't tied to any organization.

"I kind of gave up on fighting Nate," Alvarez said. "He won't even respond if I - if I text Nate right now and said, 'You're an absolute p---y, and you'll never fight me,' I just won't get a response. I don't feel that way about him, but if I tried to do my best to get him to fight, he just won't. I think Nate's in the driver's seat, and he's just kind of riding out the $10 (million), $15 million Jake Paul fights and those fights he's gonna get."

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