Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez cannot wait to get his ONE Championship career to get underway.
The multiple-time world champion was one of ONE’s biggest acquisitions back in 2018, and at ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March in Tokyo, Japan, Alvarez finally makes his promotional debut against top-ranked Russian contender Timofey Nastyukhin.
Taking to Japanese mixed martial arts legend Genki Sudo, who will serve as a commentator when ONE hits Tokyo later this year, Alvarez revealed that competing back in The Land of the Rising Sun was a must, especially since he spent a lot of his early career in competing in Japan.
“It was important for me when I came to ONE to do my first fight here in Tokyo, as appreciation to the fans for what they did for me ten years ago,” Alvarez shared. “This has always been like a special place for me.”
One of Alvarez’s earliest breaks in his mixed martial arts career was his participation in the 2008 Dream Lightweight Grand Prix. Later that year, he faced off with Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in Japan for the first time in his career.
“I started my career here in Japan with a grand prix, and now I’m back with another grand prix.”
Alvarez begins his ONE journey as a participant in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, alongside seven other top lightweight contenders. The winner will be awarded as the World Grand Prix champion and gets a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
Looking to advance in the tournament, Alvarez promises that the fans in Japan will be seeing an intense and must-see performance from “The Underground King”
“A lot of high-paced fighting and non-stop action. I like to feel my opponent, feel the energy of the crowd, and then unleash my training, unleash my preparation on my opponent.”
“I believe it’s going to be very special, a special event, a special time,” he added.