Having competed in Bellator MMA, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and ONE Championship, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 35, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States is one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists who are still currently active. But if there is one thing he regrets, it is the fact that he did not finish college.
Born in Philadelphia to a Puerto Rican father and an Irish mother on January 11, 1984, Alvarez attended Northeast Catholic High School, a private all-male school in Philadelphia under the administration of the high school system of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Its sports teams participated in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
Alvarez was raised in Kensington, Philadelphia. He competed as a wrestler at Northeast Catholic High School for four years.
After graduating from Northeast Catholic High School, Alvarez continued to explore combat sports. He trained in kickboxing, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts and made his professional MMA debut when he was 19 years old.
“I always knew I wanted to be a fighter,” Alvarez told Philly Mag. “Fighting is my quest to find out who I am and challenge myself.”
After high school, the Philadelphia native was offered some athletic scholarships for wrestling but his family still could not afford the balance of tuition. He considers himself a very learned individual who loves reading.
“I’ve read about fighting, philosophy, war, psychology, success and business,” Alvarez told the UFC. “I also read a lot about family and I constantly work on becoming a better husband and father.”
In 2008, Alvarez married his fellow Philadelphia native Jamie Alvarez, 35. They have three sons and one daughter together.
On June 19, 2009, Alvarez became the Bellator Lightweight Champion when he defeated Toby Imada, 41, of Austin, Texas, USA at “Bellator 12” but lost the title to Michael Chandler, 33, of Boca Raton, Florida, USA on November 19, 2011 at “Bellator 58.” On November 2, 2013, Alvarez regained the title from Chandler in their rematch at “Bellator 106.”
On July 7, 2016, Alvarez became the first ever UFC champion from Philadelphia. He dethroned then reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael “RDA” dos Anjos, 34, of Huntington Beach, California, USA in the main event of “UFC Fight Night 90.”
On August 2, 2019, Alvarez earned his first victory in ONE Championship by submitting Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of Baguio City, Philippines at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes.” Here is a recap: