Eddie Alvarez Eying Christian Lee: I Want To Fight The Best Guy In ONE
Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, is currently 1-1 inside the ONE Circle. ‘The Underground King’ won his last match against Eduard Folayang at ONE: Dawn of Heroes last August, via rear-naked choke. That victory earned him a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix final, but an unfortunate injury forced him to withdraw.
Now fully recovered, the coronavirus pandemic has seen the American retreat to his native Philadelphia and wait until the world gets back on track. Speaking to ONE Championship, Alvarez said he’s taking positives out of the current isolation period.
“For me, luckily, I have a lot of stuff at home,” Alvarez said. “We got the pool opened up right away, the minute we heard we were being shut down. That allowed me to swim a little bit and go in the hot tub after training sessions. I’m just training at my house, in my gym, and being with my kids. It’s a little reset button.”
Beside spending time with his family, Alvarez is using this time to train and focus on the basics.
“When I’m on my own like this, I really like going back to fundamentals — working on good fundamental fighting: balance, positioning, and things like that.
“The ability to move around for 25 minutes in a good, solid, fundamental position and not get tired and not get bored, and just work the fundamentals of fighting is a lot more difficult than what people give it credit for. I think every fighter should use this as a kind of restructuring.”
Despite winning his last fight, Alvarez plans to return to his old style, which was largely based on a ‘reckless’ forward pressure.
“I’ve really been trying to become the move-forward, reckless fighter that got me all the titles that I have today. The idea of thinking too much and hesitating, that’s become something more than I want it to, and I want to get back to moving forward and having a reckless style.
“[I want to get back to] going forward and doing damage,” Alvarez continued. “That’s kind of where I’m resetting where my mind is at…I just want to fight the way I want to fight, and I want to do what I want to do regardless of the risks that are involved.”
Before the pandemic, ‘The Underground King’ was expected to face Saygid ‘Dagi’ Arslanaliev. Alvarez however, is ready to face anyone who will get him a step closer to his ultimate goal, to beat the best athlete in ONE’s lightweight division, which is currently the champion, Christian Lee.
“My idea is always that I’m the champion,” he said. “Everywhere I’ve went, I beat the champion. Anybody who considers themself the best guy in ONE Championship, I want to fight.
“I would fight Christian Lee right now. I’d fight whoever has that belt around their waist. That’s who I have my eye on. If I have to fight anybody who considers themselves contenders or anybody in between, I’ll take them out in order to get there.”
Such is his mindset, it reveals his desire to compete, but Alvarez greatly appreciates the time off as well.
“I believe everything happens for a reason. I keep hearing people say, ‘I want to get back to my normal life,’ and a big part of me feels that this is our normal life. Going back to all the business and all the working seems to be not a normal life. That’s the main thing I think we have to keep a good perspective on through the wake of all this,” he concluded.
Who do you want to see Eddie Alvarez face next?