When the coronavirus initially began to take hold in the United States, Eddie Alvarez was admittedly among those who wasn’t sure if the outbreak was as serious as some were making it out to be.
As COVID-19 quickly developed into a global pandemic, however, Alvarez went from planning a family vacation to observing quarantine and social-distancing protocols in his native Pennsylvania.
“Right away me and my wife looked at each other and we’re like, ‘If the kids get off school, we’re headed straight to Disney.’ I was still three months out from my fight,” Alvarez said on ”Beatdown.” “I’m like, ‘We can head to Disney for five days and have the time of our life.’ That was my initial thought, but we sat and waited on it a little bit, kept listening to the news, kept reading everything that was coming out. I was like, ‘This is for real.’ We have friends who are nurses, family who are nurses – the more stories we were hearing, the more we need to stay our ass home, stay in the house and keep everyone safe.
“I’m a skeptic until I gain knowledge. When I see people on the front lines, nurses that I know, we talk to them on a daily basis and they say this s--t’s for real, people are dying inside the hospital. The scene inside the hospital is horrific. We all have a moral obligation to stay inside and do what’s best.”
That said, Alvarez is empathetic to those who can’t simply stay home and must venture out into the world to pay their bills.
“I’m super understanding of people’s financial situations,” he said. “If you were down the way where everyone’s hard up and they’re living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, I thought about that person right away. Well, what do they do? That world is a whole different world. They’re not gonna be quarantining.”
A former lightweight king in the UFC and Bellator MMA, Alvarez recently transitioned to One Championship, where he is next scheduled to fight on May 29. The Singapore-based promotion has been forced to rearrange its schedule and has also announced plans to hold all cards until May 29 behind closed doors due to coronavirus concerns. Fighting without an audience is something “The Underground King” was familiar with during his formative years of MMA.
In fact, he thinks it might even be a positive.
“It would benefit me to fight with no crowd,” Alvarez said. “For a fighter to get in that zone where their mind and body come together, and they’re able get in that zone free of thought and any interference and just fight like a dog, the less distractions the better. My very first fight was in a basketball gym in Elizabeth, N.J. There was a snowstorm and like a 100 people there. I fought plenty in front of basically no one. I have no issue fighting in front of a crowd, no crowd.”