There are plenty of examples of street fighters walking into MMA gyms and thinking they can hang with trained fighters. Most of those guys end up getting embarrassed, and never return to the gym.
That isn’t to say there haven’t been street fighters who transitioned to MMA however, as there have been several who have been quite successful.
In this article we take a look at 6 former street fighters who managed to turn themselves into stars in mixed martial arts.
6. Eddie Alvarez
UFC 205 didn’t go quite how Eddie Alvarez planned, but the 33-year old has still has had a successful MMA career.
Nicknamed “the Underground King” for his street-fighting background, the Philadelphia-native is the first fighter ever to win titles in both Bellator and UFC.
His early life in Philly involved plenty of street fighting.
“I had already been in maybe 100 street fights before I ever got in a ring or a cage,”
“At that time, when I was 18 or 19 years old, there was no way that someone could convince me that someone could beat me in a fight…I wouldn’t even believe it.”
Nobody ever did beat Alvarez when he was 18 or 19 years old. Eddie was 23 when he suffered his first loss, to Nick Thompson at a BoDog fight show in 2007. He’d won 10 straight leading up to that bout.
Alvarez was involved in an epic 2-fight rivalry with Michael Chandler in Bellator. In 2011, Chandler defeated Eddie for the promotion’s lightweight title, but 2 years later Alvarez would avenge the loss and take back the championship. He would sign with UFC and vacate the belt shortly after.
He dropped a decision to Donald Cerrone in his first UFC fight, but then went on a 3 bout winning streak which included a 1st round knockout win over then-lightweight champion Raphael Dos Anjos.