Eddie Alvarez Has No Qualms About Working His Way Up The ONE Lightweight Ladder

Multiple-time World Champion Eddie Alvarez will begin his quest for a unique slice of history when he takes on Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo on March 31.

The American became one of the most high-profile free agent acquisitions ever when he left his previous organization and signed with booming Asian martial arts powerhouse ONE Championship in a ground-breaking move in late 2018.

“The Underground King” is now wrapping up his preparations for his promotional debut. He is scheduled to face Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin in the quarter-final round of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.

The winner of the tournament will earn the status of number one contender for the division’s title, and will eventually face off with the winner in the headline act between current ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki.

If Alvarez were able to capture that strap, he would become the first man in history to win the World Title from the three major global martial arts organizations. This has been Alvarez’ goal since day one, and he hasn’t been shy about telling the world of his plans to make history.

“You will not be able to talk about martial arts or MMA without talking about me in the history books. I’ve won in every single major promotion – a major belt in each one,” said Alvarez.

“I’ve made a space in my office for this belt and I’m here in Asia to get this belt – that’s my main purpose and my main belt.”

With a pedigree and background as decorated as Alvarez’s, you could forgive him for expecting to walk immediately into a title shot – debut or not. But the 35-year-old is insists he wants to prove himself and work his way to the belt just like everybody else.

“I don’t believe you can call yourself a champion if you right away get a shot at the belt. I think everybody has a right to earn their spot and I’m here to earn my spot,” said Alvarez.

“I want to fight the best guys in the division and I think we’re going to do that with the Grand Prix. I’m looking forward to fighting the top talent and earning that world title.”

And Alvarez will immediately be put to the test against dangerous Russian striking specialist Nastyukhin. With both athletes always ready and extremely willing to put on a show, this bout could well steal the show in Tokyo.

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Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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