Eddie Alvarez Believes He’ll Fight On A ONE Card In The US This Year
Eddie Alvarez has held world titles in both the UFC and Bellator, and is a veteran of 38 fights, recording 24 finishes in 30 victories. After successful runs in those promotions, the 36-year-old is currently in pursuit of a third major title in ONE Championship. His latest victory was a technical submission over Eduard Folayang at ONE: Dawn Of Heroes in a year ago.
“I Just Want To Fight The Champions”
Speaking to SCMP MMA, ‘The Underground King’ said he’s only interesting in fighting the best and has his eye on the ONE lightweight world title.
“I want to get to that world title,” Alvarez proclaimed. “I want to beat the guys in front of me. And if I don’t get a title shot next, I’ll take the title shot next. I’ve fought everybody in the world. If you’re a champion or you’re the best in the world I’ve probably fought you or probably tried to fight you.
“I just want to fight the champions. Whoever has a belt around their waist I wanna get in their face and I want an opportunity to win the belt so that’s where my focus is and that’s where my energy lies.”
Alvarez vs Lee ‘Inevitable’
In order to capture a third world title, he will have to get past the reigning ONE lightweight champion, Christian Lee. The 22 year old has also expressed mutual interested in facing Alvarez. If this is the case, a match between the two could happen sooner than we think.
“It’s inevitable. If he remains champion, it is,” Alvarez continued. “I’ve never entered an organisation and not won the title. I’m uneasy until I’m the champion of a promotion. That adage, ‘It’s not over until I win’, that’s how I feel inside when I join a promotion. Whoever has that belt around their waist, I’m on my way there, so if he stays champion then I’ll be fighting him soon.”
Alvarez vs Chandler 3?
With Alvarez currently competing in ONE, a third fight with Michael Chandler in the Singapore-based promotion is also in discussion. The 34 year old is currently exploring free agency after the expiring of his Bellator contract. The two previously fought in Bellator, where they fought twice and won one apiece. But that’s the least of ‘The Underground King’s’ concerns.
“No, I don’t care about him either,” said Alvarez. “I don’t because again, it’s another guy who doesn’t hold a world title. He wasn’t the champion of Bellator. He got knocked out by the 145 pounder (Patricio Freire), and he’s not the champion of ONE. And he wasn’t the champion of the UFC, like he’s not a champion any more, so my goal is set on champions. So, the only guy that interests me or that I’d be licking my chops at right now is Christian Lee. Anyone else, they can do whatever they want.”
Fighting This Year
Following his victory over Eduard Folayang, Alvarez was set to face Saygid ‘Dagi’ Arslanaliev at ONE: Century. However, an injury forced him to withdraw. ‘The Underground King’ hopes to return to action before the end of the year.
“I think we’re fighting before this year ends. I’m almost positive,” he said. “And I’ll be ready. Right now Americans can’t fly internationally but ONE is trying really hard to get an event somewhere in the States and make something happen, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be fighting by the end of the year and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t.”
Not Concerned With The Rankings
ONE Championship released official rankings this summer for the first time and Alvarez was a little surprised to see that he was unranked in the ONE lightweight rankings. Still, the rankings do not mean all that much to him.
“It was silly when I saw it … but I don’t concern myself with rankings.”
Alvarez is willing to take ‘Dagi’ as his next opponent. But he believes a match with the reigning lightweight champion would make more sense, given that Lee lives in Hawaii. However, ‘The Underground King’ thinks ONE is trying to keep him from facing Lee.
“We’ve got to see if the promotion allows it,” the 36-year-old said. “He says he wants it. The promotion I don’t think wants that to happen. They want him to stay champion for a little longer. The promotion knows what I do to champions.”
Who should Eddie Alvarez face next inside the ONE Circle?