Nov 2, 2013; Long Beach, CA, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) and Michael Chandler (blue gloves) during their Bellator lightweight world championship fight at the Long Beach Arena. Alvarez won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rumour: Eddie Alvarez UFC-bound, fights Donald Cerrone at UFC 178

According to multiple reports, Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has signed with the UFC and is being targeted for a match-up with top contender Donald Cerrone at UFC 178 in the co-main event this September.

UFC president Dana White had made his interest in Alvarez public for some time, and after contract talks between the top-ranked lightweight and Bellator had hit a brick wall, a deal seemed close. However, after a lengthy period in court between the two parties, a new contract had been agreed which forced Alvarez to stay with Bellator for a little while longer.

There were a number of hiccups between Alvarez and former president Bjorn Rebney, though Rebney has since been replaced by former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, with a shake-up of the promotion happening as a result. Along with a number of named fighters being signed by Coker, he has also got rid of some deadwood and tried to get rid of the old reputation that went hand-in-hand with Bellator.

In the case of Alvarez, he is one of the best talents available at Bellator, though his public interest in joining the UFC as well as the terms of his contract has reportedly left no choice for Coker but to let him go. The 30 year-old looked set to fight Will Brooks in his next bout and, if he got past Brooks, would be free to leave the organisation and would do so as the champion.

That would leave Bellator without a champion and the two top contenders, Brooks and Chandler, to fight for the interim title. Considering they have already fought, albeit in a close affair, and have lost – theoretically – to Alvarez, this is not ideal for the Viacom-owned organisation.

If the reports are true and Alvarez has indeed signed with the UFC, this could see Brooks bumped up to undisputed champion and a rematch with Chandler is a lot more intriguing, as Brooks has lost just one fight in his career and avenged that loss.

Eddie Alvarez, meanwhile, would get the chance to introduce himself to the UFC lightweight division in instant fashion if he can get past a highly touted Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Cerrone, winner of his last four, is currently ranked at #4 in the division and has compiled a 7-3 record inside the Octagon.

Should Alvarez get past Cerrone, a title shot may lay in the Bellator champion’s wake.

However, according to Ariel Helwani, Alvarez has not officially left Bellator – though there have been talks to do so.

Tags: Bellator MMA Donald Cerrone Eddie Alvarez Ufc 178

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