Eddie Alvarez booked for UFC 178 clash with Donald Cerrone

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The UFC have moved quickly and signed up former Bellator Lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, just hours after his release.

Alvarez was released from this Bellator contract on Tuesday morning by Bellator president, Scott Coker, after a contract dispute that lasted nearly two years under former president, Bjorn Rebney.

Alvarez already has his first fight lined up and it promises to be a thriller - the co-main event of UFC 178 against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone.

A long time coming

It was two years ago that Alvarez initially looked to sign a deal with the UFC and compete in their growing lightweight division.

That move however was blocked at the time by Rebney, who used a clause in Alvarez's contract to match the UFC's offer and keep him with Bellator. However, it soon turned out he wouldn't be paid as much as promised by potential PPV sales and Alvarez has been contesting the terms of that deal ever since.

New president Coker settled the issue though and as per, MMAFighting's Shaun Al-Shatti, the UFC have agreed a deal with Alvarez allowing him to finally compete amongst the MMA elite.

'Cowboy' has been the long rumoured opponent for Alvarez, as the news of a potential release gathered steam and that bout has now been confirmed.

UFC 178 recovering from Jones blow

With Cerrone-Alvarez as the new co-main event for the 178 card, there's going to be some hope that it won't bomb like other cards that have been main evented by Flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson.

Johnson has had a tough time proving to be a PPV draw and this card was lined up as the biggest of the year before Jon Jones got injured and had to pull out.

There is a lot of hope for this card to still pull a decent number though as it has perhaps some of the most exciting undercard bouts in recent memory.

Conor McGregor will face Dustin Poirier in an exciting culmination of their long standing war of words, Dominick Cruz will make his long-awaited return against Takeya Mizugaki and number one women's Bantamweight contender Cat Zingano will also return to face Amanda Nunes.

Alongside the two top fights, this should be more than enough to entice fight fans to buy the card and although it doesn't have the feud of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier attached to it, there's a chance it still pulls a good PPV number.

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