Alvarez and Huerta will not disappoint at Bellator 33 (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Eddie Alvarez Faces Roger Huerta in Main Event
Philadelphia (Tuesday, August 31, 2010) – Bellator Fighting Championships will make its Philadelphia debut when Bellator 33 heads to The Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University on Thursday, October 21st. Featured in the main event that evening will be a huge pairing of Philadelphia native Eddie Alvarez (20-2) and former UFC fighter Roger Huerta (24-4-1).
"Roger Huerta, Philadelphia, October 21st, this is a dream fight for me," Alvarez stated. "I've never even lost a fight here in the United States, so I'm definitely not going to start in my hometown of Philadelphia with all of my people there. That's not going to happen. Not a chance.”
The only two losses for Alvarez in his 22 professional fights came at the hands of Sinya Aoki in Japan and Nick Thompson in Russia. He is currently riding a fight-bout winning streak, and he has also won 10 of his last 11 matches. While a win over Huerta is his goal at Bellator 33, Alvarez went on to say that simply winning would not be good enough for him.
"I'm not going to be happy unless I completely control and dominate Roger in this fight,” he continued. “It's important for me to go in there and dominate this fight and prove that I'm one of the best lightweights in the world."
Huerta, who is a native of Los Angeles, does not feel that the hometown advantage of Alvarez will play much of a role in this bout.
"The cheers or jeers won't affect me one way or the other,” Huerta said. “The pressure is on him fighting in his hometown. He's going to bring the best out of me. The best. It's going to be scary.”
This highly anticipated fight comes to fruition after Bellator Season Two Lightweight Tournament Champion Pat Curran was forced to pull from a title match with Alvarez due to a shoulder tear. Curran upset Huerta in the second round of the lightweight tournament when all three judges gave him a tight 29-28 unanimous decision victory. When Curran announced his injury would prevent him for being able to battle Alvarez for the title, Bellator match makers put Huerta onto the bill.
"This is a fight that I've always wanted,” Huerta remarked. “It's a dream come true. It's going to be a grueling fight for the both of us. It's going to be a potential fight of the year. I'm going in there expecting a war, and I'm going in there trying to finish Eddie."
While Huerta may have lost three of his last four bouts against some very formidable competition, the first Mixed Martial Artist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated only dropped one fight in his first 21 professional matches. After a run in the UFC, his signing with Bellator is something to which Alvarez still holds a grudge.
"I don't care where you fought in the past, but if you come to my promotion and you have a big name and you're obviously marketable, and the promotion signs you, I'm going to have an issue with that," Alvarez commented. "If I don't feel threatened by that, then I'm an idiot. I feel threatened by someone like Roger trying to move into my house, and I'm going to do everything I can to protect what's mine and get him out of there. I want to keep all eyes on me. I'm going to go out there and do my job and get him out of there."
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney also voiced his excitement about the upcoming megafight.
“The Alvarez-Huerta fight should be one of the most electrifying bouts in the history of Bellator Fighting Championships, and to be able to host it in one of the greatest fights towns on earth, Philadelphia, is spectacular,” he stated. “I've said it before, I believe Eddie Alvarez is the best Lightweight Mixed Martial Artist in the world today and for Roger to have the courage to face him speaks volumes about his confidence and character. The fans are really in for a treat with not only a great fight card, but also a fantastic host venue in The Liacouras Center."
The rest of the Alvarez-Huerta card is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks, while a few of the night’s events will depend upon results in the Bellator Bantamweight, Heavyweight and Women’s Tournaments that are currently being conducted in the promotion’s third season.
Next up on the fight schedule is Bellator 27, which will take place this Thursday from San Antonio. For more information on Bellator, visit www.Bellator.com or follow the organization on Twitter @BellatorMMA.