Eddie Alvarez: Everyone Knows If I Fight Christian Lee, I Beat Him
After nearly two years on the sidelines, Eddie Alvarez is set to return on April 7th at ONE on TNT 1 to face Iuri Lapicus. With a win, he hopes to secure a shot at the ONE lightweight title, currently held by Christian Lee. It’s a goal he set when he signed with the promotion at the end of 2018. The 37 year old last competed at ONE: Dawn Of Heroes in August of 2019, when he scored a comeback submission victory against Eduard Folayang.
“A Matter Of Time”
Not only does Alvarez have his eye on winning his third world title in one of the sport’s major promotions, he also wants help take ONE Championship to the next level in America. And what better way than to fight on the promotion’s first ever event to be shown on primetime in the US? Speaking to ONE Championship, ‘The Underground King’ said that he is glad to be competing on the historic event.
“More than anything, I want to show the American audience how strong and powerful ONE Championship can be,” said Alvarez. “After seeing their shows in Asia and being a part of their shows in Asia, I knew it was just a matter of time before they came here where they explode, and they catch on pretty quickly. I’m glad to be a part of what I think is just the beginning of ONE Championship here in America. To me, right now, this fight means everything. You know, it is everything I envisioned.”
Talent Can Be Found Anywhere
Having competed in the UFC and Bellator previously, Alvarez knows MMA talent when he sees it. And he sees a lot of that talent in ONE Championship. This was evident when the self-proclaimed ‘most violent man in MMA’ lost his promotional debut against Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE: A New Era in March 2019. The Philadelphia native hopes that the ONE on TNT series can show American fans that talent can be found all over the world.
“Some of the best fighters in the world are in the foothills of Dagestan, or in the jungles of Brazil, or right here in America on the NCAA wrestling mat,” Alvarez said. “A lot of fighters and champions who are up-and-coming are virtually unknown, and they just haven’t been seen or marketed yet. So, I’m not surprised by the level of talent at ONE, and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
“Showing Why I’m The Best Lightweight In This Division”
Alvarez’s opponent, Lapicus, is a former ONE lightweight title challenger. The Moldovan-Italian is equipped with dangerous submission skills and has won all of his fights by stoppage. But when it comes to experience, the former UFC and Bellator champion has the advantage. Although he sees his opponent’s lack of experience as a double-edged sword.
“Sometimes being inexperienced is a power in itself because you’re not riddled with thought and experiences of the past, so you can compete at a high level without thinking too much. But there’s also a downfall to it,” said Alvarez. “I’m looking forward to testing that, exploiting his weaknesses, and, at the end of the day, executing at a high level and showing why I’m the best lightweight in this division and why I deserve the world title. That’s what I do. I eliminate my opponent.”
Winning Every Title Shot
With a victory, Alvarez could earn the opportunity to fight the winner of Lee vs Nastyukhin for the title, which features in the ONE on TNT 2 main event. Either way, he is confident that he can get past Lapicus and go on to win the ONE lightweight title, regardless of who the champion is.
“When I get shots at world titles, I win them. That’s what I’ve done my whole career. That’s what I get up for. That excites me. It gets me up early and makes me go to bed late. I’ve done it for the past two decades, all over the world,” Alvarez said. “I think that everyone involved knows that if I fight Christian, I’m going to beat him. Maybe it’s better he keeps the belt and fights other opponents other than myself because if I get a shot at the world title, I’m going to win.”
Can Eddie Alvarez beat Iuri Lapicus at ONE on TNT 1, and then go on to win the title by beating the winner of Christian Lee vs Timofey Nastyukhin?