Years ago an up-and-coming wrestler with dynamite in his fists made waves in the Northeast scene, crushing opponents left and right in promotions like Reality Fighting, Ring of Combat and the Mixed Fighting Championship. And during this Philadelphia-based fighter’s unbridled dispensing of carnage, which occurred sometimes in Atlantic City, sometimes in Trenton or even Northern New Jersey, there were always several hundred screaming, rabid fans – bussed in and garbed in “We Love You, Eddie!” or “Eddie For President” t-shirts – mere seconds away from rioting regardless of whether their hero won or lost. That’s right, I’m talking about Eddie Alvarez, favorite son of the “City of Brotherly Love” and now a top-five lightweight. Back then, those of us who observed the phenomenon would wonder aloud what would happen once Pennsylvania legalized MMA and Alvarez could fight before his hometown crowd. Would his fans storm the cage? Would the very foundation of the venue tremble from their might? Well, soon we shall wonder no more, for Bellator has Alvarez headlining their October 21st show, slated for the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. There will be bloodshed when Alvarez faces Roger Huerta. There will be chaos. And all that’s just outside of the cage. Consider: the top five craziest things Eddie Alvarez fans have done when he has fought.
- Alvarez vs. Chris Schlesinger, Reality Fighting 7 on October 16, 2004 – After stunning Schlesinger with an uppercut at the one-minute mark Alvarez was declared the winner. Meanwhile, an Alvarez fan dragged a chair to the top of the bleachers at Boardwalk Hall and tossed it into a crowd of Schlesinger supporters. Two men were killed, one seriously injured.
- Alvarez vs. Seichi Ikemoto, Mixed Fighting Championship 3 on February 26, 2005 – It took Alvarez nearly two full rounds to overwhelm a tentative and back-pedaling Ikemoto, but when he finally did, an Alvarez fan ran over to the concession stand, doused himself with gasoline and lit a match. Forty-seven hot dogs and a bag of Skittles were burned beyond recognition.
- Alvarez vs. Adam Fearon, Ring of Combat 6 on April 24, 2004 – A takedown into mount and a shower of fists. That was the story of this pairing, which took place at the Rexplex Sports Complex in Elizabeth. Moments after Alvarez’s win, a fan detonated a car bomb in the parking lot; no more MMA events were allowed at the Rexplex Sports Complex.
- Alvarez vs. Derrick Noble, Mixed Fighting Championship 7 on June 3, 2006 – Alvarez’s first taste of UFC-level competition ended clearly and convincingly, with Noble falling prey to a flurry of leather and crumpling to the canvas in about a minute. Afterwards, a fan drove his Mustang convertible onto the Atlantic City boardwalk, then onto the beach and into the surf. Neither car nor driver was ever recovered.
- Alvarez vs. Matt Lee, BodogFIGHT on July 14, 2007 – For the first and only time in his career Alvarez was taken to a decision, with the durable Lee losing via unanimous decision. As this bout took place in the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, fans poured out into the streets post-fight and destroyed three entire city blocks. Trenton residents still haven’t noticed.