Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (19-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) returns to action for the first time since an October win under the DREAM banner when he meets 10-time UFC veteran Josh Neer (27-9-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in May.
Bellator officials announced the new matchup today, though specifics on the date of the bout have to be released.
The contest is the first "Super Fight" announced by the organization. Bellator plans on utilizing its first-season champions in "non-tournament, non-title catchweight" fights as they wait for new contenders to emerge from the season two tournaments.
) has learned from sources close to the promotion that the bout will take place at 160 pounds.
"In addition to being one of the top lightweights on earth, Eddie's a blast to watch fight," Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's release. "Alvarez vs. Neer should produce fireworks from the start. Our hyper-competitive tournaments, May Super Fights and September title-defense fights will all create some awesome nationally televised events."
Alvarez is currently riding a four-fight win streak – a run that includes the champion's three submission wins in Bellator's 2009 debut tournament. The 25-year-old looks to keep the momentum going as he bounces back from minor arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent in January.
"I've seen Josh Neer fight, and he's a banger,” Alvarez stated. "I love this fight because he never puts on a dull fight and those are the kinds of matches that suit me the best.
"I expect my knee to be 100 percent soon and I'm expecting that this is going to be my best performance ever."
Meanwhile Neer comes to Bellator with a two-fight win streak. "The Dentist" has earned two victories in 2010 after a pair of 2009 losses in the UFC left him cut from the world's largest fight promotion.
"This is definitely a tough fight because Alvarez is a really explosive fighter and one of the top two or three lightweights in the world," Neer said. "I think that if I beat him, it would be a huge win for me and would really help me increase my notoriety. It’s a great opportunity."
Bellator has pieced together a first-of-its-kind broadcast alliance that calls for live weekly events on FSN and weekend highlights shows on NBC and Telemundo. The first season aired on ESPN Deportes and garnered solid ratings on the Spanish-language station.