Shinya Aoki: Christian Lee Is Right, Eddie Alvarez Needs To Do More
Former ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki agrees with current titleholder Christian Lee that Eddie Alvarez needs to do more to earn a title shot.
Since signing with ONE Championship in 2018, Alvarez has had a tough run in the promotion. The 37 year old suffered a brutal TKO loss to Timofey Nastyukhin in his promotional debut in 2019, before bouncing back with a win over former two-time lightweight champion, Eduard Folayang.
Alvarez returned to action at ONE on TNT 1 in April to face Iuri Lapicus in a potential title eliminator, but lost by disqualification due to illegal blows. The loss was overturned to a no-contest however. Three weeks later at ONE on TNT 4, the former UFC and Bellator champion faced Ok Rae Yoon, but lost by unanimous decision.
Eddie Alvarez Needs To Do More
With only one win in his four ONE outings, Alvarez hasn’t impressed Lee enough to earn a title shot. The 22-year-old believes that the MMA legend needs to get a few more wins under his belt before making such demands.
And Lee isn’t the only one who thinks that way. Speaking to ONE Championship, Aoki said that Alvarez hasn’t done enough to even discuss getting a title shot.
“Christian Lee is a champion, and he’s young and has a future,” Aoki said. “I don’t think Eddie Alvarez can say he wants to fight for the title from his side because he hasn’t won [recently].”
Earning A Title Shot
Since losing his title to Lee at ONE: Enter The Dragon in 2019, Aoki has won four in a row, with three ending in the first round. His most recent victory came at at ONE on TNT 4 where he submitted Folayang in their rubber match. Despite the impressive winning streak, ‘Tobikan Judan’ believes he still needs to beat top contenders like Rae Yoon, before he can call out the champion.
“In my opinion, I can say that I want to [a world title match], considering my current state. But if I say I want to fight for that, it’s not convincing enough for me,” Aoki said. “If I fight and beat opponents like Ok Rae Yoon, it will be convincing. But I’m not that shameless to say I want to fight for the title in my current state.”
Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez have previously fought each other twice, with both holding a win each. ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong recently said that he would like to see the two veterans of the sport face off for a third time inside the ONE Circle.
Who do you think should challenge Christian Lee for the ONE lightweight title next?