Back at home, Eddie Alvarez is feeling loved, hungry and confident
Eddie Alvarez has fought and trained all over the world. His fighting journey began at home, in Philadelphia, however, and that's where it continues as he heads into a Sunday co-main event fight against Anthony Pettis.
The Philly native has moved his family back to their hometown after years of training in South Florida with the Blackzilians. There are a million comforts of home, but Alvarez has been keenly aware of one particular gift from his town -- their love.
"I forgot how much support the city of Philadelphia gives to me," he recently told FOX Sports.
"They really have shown me so much love over the years, and being back here, closer to that, has been incredible."
Alvarez doesn't elaborate too much on why he decided to move on from Florida, but describes it, generally, as an experiment that, on whole, just didn't work out. "We gave it a try in Florida, and it just didn't work out," he said, simply.
Warmth from his neighbors during a cold winter training camp isn't all that has heartened Alvarez, either. The action fighter is back with the people who helped him develop into a world-class fighter, both in Philadelphia and in nearby New Jersey, where he works with Ricardo Almeida's team.
Working with high-level lighter weight fighters and old friends like Frankie Edgar has energized Alvarez.
"I'm with great people, here. I'm with the guys who I started out with," he explains.
"Me and Frankie Edgar started out seven or eight years ago, together. They always had a great group at Ricardo Almeida's, and they've only added to it, now, with guys like Edson Barboza and a lot of other tough, good guys."
Alvarez knows that beating the former lightweight world champion Pettis would shoot him to the top of the title contender's ladder. And, he's almost giddy at the prospect, given how confident he is that he has what it takes to take Pettis out.
However, Alvarez has a lot of respect for Pettis, and seems to know what he's up against. He just doesn't plan to get frozen under the bright "Showtime" lights.
"He is a great fighter. He is," Eddie allows of his opponent.
"But I think people get caught up in the greatness of Anthony Pettis. He is beatable. We've seen that. Every area that he struggles in are strengths of mine. I pressure guys, I wrestle well. I'm confident that my strengths will give him a lot of problems."
As always, Alvarez draws the most confidence from what he feels is his strongest attribute -- his fighting spirit. "I will not stop," he promises.
"I always feel that my biggest advantage is that I can push through what other fighters won't. I will fight harder and longer in a war than anyone else. I am able to take more damage, if necessary, and give more out, than anyone I will face."