As expected Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2 MMA, 4-0 BFC) will fight in his hometown and meet Roger Huerta (21-4-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC) at Bellator 33.
) first reported the three-round non-title fight earlier this month, and Bellator executives today made it official.
The event takes place Oct. 21 at the 10,000-seat Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, and the night's main card airs live on FOX Sports Net.
Huerta got the title fight when season-two tournament winner Pat Curran was forced out of a scheduled title fight with Alvarez due to injury. Curran upset Huerta in the semifinals of the eight-man tournament to get the title shot, which is now expected to take place in early 2011 as part of Bellator's fourth season.
"Roger Huerta, Philadelphia, Oct. 21 – this is a dream fight for me," stated Alvarez, who won the organization's season-one tourney, which also earned him the lightweight belt. "I've never even lost a fight here in the United States, so I'm definitely not going to start in my hometown of Philadelphia with all of my people there. That's not going to happen. Not a chance."
Alvarez enters the main-event bout with a five-fight win streak and 10 victories in his past 11 fights. Eight of the 10 wins came via stoppage, including submission victories over Greg Loughran, Eric Reynolds and Toby Imada in the season-one tourney and Josh Neer in a season-two non-title fight. The tourney run and Alvarez's accomplishments in the Japanese-based DREAM organization have given him solid footing in the world's top-10 lightweight rankings.
A win over Huerta could further improve his value, though his opponent has suffered through a rough stretch. Huerta, one of the sport's biggest stars and the first-ever MMA fighter featured on the cover of "Sports Illustrated," has lost three of his past four fights since opening his career with a stellar 20-1-1 mark. In addition to Curran, the losses came to notables Kenny Florian (unanimous decision) and Gray Maynard (close split decision) under the UFC banner. The lone victory in that span came over then-undefeated Chad Hinton in their Bellator tourney-opening bout.
Bellator 33 marks the organization's debut in the state of Pennsylvania. Tickets, which range from $25 to $150, went on sale today at www.ComcastTix.com