Pay-per-view starts at 10PM ET or 7PM PT
UFC 125 “Resolution”
Saturday, Jan. 1
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera
Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann
* Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares
Current Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Antonio McKee will make his promotional debut in a preliminary matchup against Jacob Volkmann at UFC 125 “Resolution” on Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Seven fights are now official for the event, which will air live on pay-per-view.
McKee will carry an 11-fight winning streak into the match. An International Fight League veteran, he stopped Luciano Azevedo — the only man to defeat current World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Jose Aldo — on first-round strikes at MFC 26 in September. McKee has not lost a fight in nearly eight years and owns other notable victories against former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Delson Heleno, UFC veteran Marcus Aurelio and two-time Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight tournament finalist Toby Imada.
Spawned by the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Volkmann last appeared at UFC Live 2 in August, when he defeated Paul Kelly by unanimous decision at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego. A decorated amateur wrestler, the 30-year-old was a Big Ten conference champion and three-time Div. I All-American at the University of Minnesota. Volkmann, who once held the Victory Fighting Championship welterweight crown, has secured more than half (six) of his 11 career wins by submission. He has been finished only once — by the world-ranked Martin Kampmann — in 13 professional appearances.
A lightweight title bout pairing champion Frankie Edgar with undefeated challenger Gray Maynard will headline UFC 125, along with a pivotal heavyweight tilt between the once-beaten Shane Carwin and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson. In addition, the oft-injured Thiago Silva will toe the line against Brandon Vera in a featured duel at 205 pounds. A lightweight duel pitting former Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Takanori Gomi against Clay Guida and a middleweight battle pairing former WEC champion Brian Stann with Chris Leben will round out the main card.
Click the link and enjoy!
Eddie Alvarez had a hotel room, but he decided to go home Wednesday and sleep in his own bed.
He woke Thursday morning and had a cup of coffee with his wife. Come afternoon he met with his coaches at the Fight Factory and watched footage of Roger Huerta. Come night he went down to the Liacouras Center and battered Huerta until the doctor stopped their entertaining lightweight bout after the second round.
“Now I’m gonna go home. It’s perfect,” Alvarez said of headlining Bellator 33 in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Huerta was gutsy, as always. He scored a flash knockdown in the first round, a slam in the second. Mostly, though, he absorbed punishment. Alvarez landed with his hands regularly, swelling Huerta’s left eye, but his kicks might have done the most damage.
“Every single thing worked tonight. Every single thing,” said Alvarez, Bellator’s lightweight champion. “It was sort of like [my coaches] plugged the remote control into the back of me, told me what to do and played with a paddle just like a video game.”
The uppercuts Huerta ate were ordered earlier that day when Alvarez studied footage with his coaches. Muay Thai trainer Ricky Lee pointed out that Huerta was open to the strikes. Alvarez used them relentlessly on the inside when he wasn’t crippling Huerta with kicks on the outside.
“He fought a hugely motivated Roger Huerta tonight, a guy who had everything to lose in this fight and everything to gain at the exact same time,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “And [Alvarez] literally dominated from start to finish.”
At the postfight news conference both Rebney and Alvarez turned to pushing for a co-promotional bout against Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog.com earlier this month he was interested in making the match, but he cited various obstacles, most notably television.
Strikeforce has a deal with Showtime. Bellator has deals with Fox Sports Net and NBC. Coker called television a “big issue,” but Rebney dismissed it Thursday.
“There aren’t promotional issues,” Rebney said. “There aren’t any barriers to entry. There aren’t any hurdles.”
In fact, Rebney said the fight could take place on Strikeforce’s network and on the San Jose-based promotion’s home turf.
“What television network is it going to be on? We’ll do it on Showtime,” Rebney said. “Where will the fight happen? Well, let’s do it in San Jose. The answers to the questions are very simple.”
Rebney was careful to express his respect for Coker and Strikeforce, but he also blamed the promoter for preventing an Alvarez-Melendez matchup.
“There’s no reason that fight shouldn’t happen but for the fact that the promoter of Gilbert Melendez doesn’t want it to occur,” Rebney said.
“Scott Coker doesn’t want it to happen,” Alvarez echoed. “He’s trying to obviously protect his champion. I guess he has every right to. He has a business to run, so whatever.”
Coker has referenced other factors impeding the bout. Rebney’s stated willingness to send it to Showtime and San Jose might move the fight a little closer to reality, though. Alvarez would be far from his own bed and his Philly brethren, but he says a matchup in Melendez’s backyard would be worth it.
“I want to be number one in the world, and the only way to do that is to fight people like Gilbert,” Alvarez said. “If we can get our hands on him and the contracts work out, then that’s what we’ll do. But until then, it’s just talk. The paper’s gotta be signed. Let’s make it happen.”
“That’s usually when you perform your best — when you’re the underdog,” Alvarez said last week during an episode of “The Savage Dog Show” on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I’m expecting the best Roger Huerta possible. That’s what I trained for.”
Huerta has lost three of his last four, but his overall record is still a strong one at 21-4-1. He is 1-1 in Bellator. The promotion likely expected him to win its season two lightweight tournament and set up a showdown for Alvarez’s 155-pound title. That went awry when Huerta lost a unanimous decision to Pat Curran in May, but now that Curran is injured, the anticipated Huerta-Alvarez matchup is coming together after all in the form of a non-title bout.
“He didn’t join with Bellator to take a backseat,” Alvarez said. “He joined Bellator to be their marquee guy, just like the UFC was trying to promote him. Immediately he became a threat to me. He’s been unfortunate in his last couple of outings, but that’s what makes him even more dangerous. He has nothing to lose, zero to lose.”
Huerta has said losing to Alvarez would end up “killing” his career. Alvarez is not sympathetic.
“I’m going to get in his face like nobody’s got in his face before,” Alvarez said. “I’m going to finish him. I don’t think there’s going to be a part of the fight where Roger’s dominant. I want to get right after him and beat him like nobody’s beaten him.”
Huerta is also promising a barnburner. Last week he said not to expect a technical fight, suggesting he’d be more than happy to scrap and scramble. Alvarez has a plan for the scrambling part in particular.
“I already got it taken care of. Don’t even sweat it,” he said. “There’ll be no scrambling going on. … You’ll see it in the fight, a couple little moves we’ve been working on to shut all that down, shut all that scrambling down, all that moving around. We’re going to shut him down.”
Despite his reputation for having heavy hands, Alvarez has won five straight via submission. That’s no accident after the back-and-forth bouts he went through in 2008 against opponents like Tatsuya Kawajiri and Joachim Hansen.
“I got in a lot of battles in ‘08,” Alvarez said. “A lot, a lot of battles, and I think it took years off my fight career. I needed to ease up a little bit and try to get out of some of these things unscathed so I can last a little longer in the sport.”
Fans will be watching for another battle Thursday. The fight will likely be the biggest in Bellator’s young history, and the fact that it’s taking place at the Liacouras Center in Alvarez’s hometown of Philadelphia should deliver a strong live audience. Alvarez expects to sell more than 1,000 tickets himself and hundreds of T-shirts.
“When you see it on TV, you’re going to see a massive amount of people in the same-colored T-shirt,” Alvarez said. “It’s going to be something magical.”
The matchup won’t generate anywhere near the attention of UFC 121 on Saturday, but Alvarez makes a good argument as to why his meeting with Huerta shouldn’t be missed. It’s not $44.95, for one. Fans who have Fox Sports Net will be able to watch the No. 6-ranked lightweight in the world at no extra cost, and his opponent is a gamer.
“We fight,” Alvarez said. “If there’s two guys in MMA who go out and put it all out there, it’s us two. We fight and we don’t give up.”
Eddie Alvarez is an American mixed martial artist, and current Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight champion. Sherdog.com ranks Alvarez as the #5 lightweight in the world. Alvarez also competes for the Japanese DREAM promotion, and used to fight for ProElite‘s EliteXC promotion.
Known in MMA for his boxing prowess, Alvarez was a wrestler at Northeast Catholic High School. After high school, Alvarez immediately pursued a professional career in MMA with his first fight coming after only eight months of formal training.
Alvarez utilized the financial success to move his family out of Kensington and into Northeast Philadelphia following the birth of his first son, Eddie Jr.
Mixed martial arts career
Alvarez won the MFC welterweight title in his seventh pro fight in June 2006 when he KO‘d Derrick Noble just 1:01 into round 1. The MFC welterweight title would later be re-branded the BodogFIGHT welterweight title.
In spite of the fact that many insiders didn’t view 170 pounds to be Alvarez’s best competitive fighting weight, he continued to fight larger opponents because he relished the challenge of testing his mettle against bigger fighters. At Bodog Fight‘s “Clash of the Nations” pay per view in Russia on April 14, 2007, Alvarez’s size disadvantage would be exposed, as he suffered his first career loss when he was TKO‘d against UFC veteran Nick Thompson at 4:32 into round 2.
After deciding to leave Bodog, Alvarez quickly found a new home in EliteXC where he competed in their 160 pound division against Ross Ebanez, winning by TKO.
A few weeks prior to the first event, it was announced that the upstart Japanese promotion DREAM, started by the minds behind PRIDE FC and K-1 had signed Alvarez to compete in their 154 pound grand prix.
His initial fight was against Andre Amade, another potent striker, hailing from the notorious Chute Boxe Academy. During the fight, Alvarez was dropped by a strong right hand, but was able to recover and use his superior wrestling skills to score a TKO due to strikes from mount late in the first round.
Alvarez advanced to the second round of the tournament where he defeated top ranked lightweight fighter Joachim Hansen on May 11, 2008 by unanimous decision in an exciting fight. Hansen, who was known for his ability to take a punch, was dropped twice in the fight and dazed numerous other times by Alvarez’s strikes.
In his fight at DREAM.5, Alvarez knocked out top ranked lightweight fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri in the tournament’s semi-finals. The fight was awarded Fight of the Year by Sherdog for 2008. However, he was unable to advance in the tournament due to a cut and severe swelling under his right eye. Alvarez’s replacement was none other than the man he defeated two months earlier, Joachim Hansen. Hansen went on to win the tournament and capture the DREAM lightweight title.
Alvarez was scheduled to face UFC and PRIDE veteran Nick Diaz for the EliteXC 160 pound title on November 8, 2008. but that fight was scrapped when EliteXC‘s parent ProElite closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy. On New Year’s Eve 2008 Alvarez fought against Shinya Aoki at K-1 Dynamite!! 2008 , losing by submission in the first round. He has since been signed to an exclusive contract with Bellator Fighting Championships.
 Bellator Fighting Championships
Alvarez entered Bellator‘s lightweight tournament at Bellator’s inaugural event on April 3, 2009. He fought against Greg Loughran, who landed a left hook which caused Alvarez to buckle his legs. Alvarez survived, however, and submitted Loughran with a guillotine choke. His next fight at the tournament’s semi-finals took place four weeks later at Bellator V, against Eric Reynolds. After controlling the bout for two rounds, Alvarez used a rear naked choke to submit Reynolds in the third.
Alvarez advanced to the lightweight tournament’s finals, which took place at Bellator XII on June 19, 2009. He fought and defeated Toby Imada, via a rear naked choke submission early in the second round, to become Bellator’s first ever lightweight champion.
Alvarez most recently faced Josh Neer in a non-title “Super fight” on May 6, 2010 at Bellator 17 in which he showed great wrestling and standup to go on to defeat Neer by way of rear-naked choke at 2:08 of round 2 as the choke was so well sunk in Neer would pass out from hypoxemia.
Alvarez was supposed to fight the Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Winner Pat Curran in a defense of his title, but his opponent was pulled from the card due to an injury in his right shoulder. He will now face Roger Huerta at Bellator 33 which could be held in Pennsylvania or New Jersey on account of Alvarez’s popularity in those states
- Current Bellator Lightweight Champion and Bellator’s season one lightweight tournament winner.
- Former BodogFIGHT welterweight champion. The title was originally known as the Mixed Fighting Championship welterweight title.
- Two time National Prep All-American as Northeast Catholic High School wrestler.
- Extensive street fighting background. Claims to be undefeated in unsanctioned fights.
- Was a part of the Sherdog Fight of the Year in 2008 with Tatsuya Kawajiri