Eddie Alvarez will finally step foot inside the Octagon this coming weekend when he makes his debut at UFC 178 against Donald Cerrone.
Alvarez sits just inside the Top-15, but will be taking on No. 5 Cerrone for his first appearance.
Joe Rogan is famous for asking fighters after they compete if they felt any “Octagon jitters,” but Alvarez is a former Bellator lightweight champion. He can’t expect to have those, can he?
“No added nerves, just some added excitement,” said Alvarez, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I’ve fought everywhere and I’ve fought some of the best guys in the world. I’ve learned what’s important. The lights don’t bug me anymore.
“It’s just about me and Donald Cerrone that night.”
Alvarez hasn’t competed since a split decision win last November over Michael Chandler. He is on a three-fight win streak overall and has won 10 of his last 11.
One added component to the camp for Alvarez has been the knowledge of Rashad Evans. “Suga” is a former stablemate of Cerrone in New Mexico, but he has kept things level so far.
“Rashad has been very helpful, but he’s been neutral,” Alvarez said. “I understand his situation. He’s been helpful in me bringing the best out in myself, without disclosing every ounce of info about Cowboy. He’s a Blackzilian and I know who he’s riding with.”
Many have pegged the Alvarez-Cerrone bout as a possible “Fight of the Year” candidate, and “The Silent Assassin” believes that very well could be the case. A win would likely vault Alvarez right to the top of the pecking order.
“It’s a high-paced, violent fight,” he said. “I try to bring that every time. I throw caution to the wind, like a young guy. You can feel my excitement to the sport. That’s what fans can expect.”