Iuri Lapicus Wants Second Shot at World Title After He Beats Eddie Alvarez

Published 04/05/2021, 1:49 AM EDT


Former ONE World Title challenger Iuri Lapics learned the lessons he needed to learn from his last fight, a disappointing first-round technical knockout loss to division kingpin, Christian “The Warrior” Lee.

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The 25-year-old Moldovan wants nothing more than another crack at ONE Championship gold. But to get to that spot, Lapicus needs to overcome perhaps the biggest test of his young career.

Lapicus is set to face former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez in the co-main event of “ONE on TNT I,” the first of a four-part event series which broadcasts Wed., April 7 (Thu., April 8 in Asia), live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

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Against Alvarez, one of the most well-known fighters in the history of mixed martial arts, Lapicus knows he’s in for a rough night.

“Facing Alvarez is complicated. Being in front of such a legend is not easy. He is a real living legend and a tough guy, so I am putting in as much work as I can in order to bring a great show to the fans,” Lapicus told ONE Championship.

The previously unbeaten Lapicus lost his unblemished record following the shockingly quick defeat to Lee. But the #2-ranked lightweight contender doesn’t feel like he’s too far out from another world title shot, and all he needs is a convincing win against Alvarez to get it.

“The match with Lee did not go the way I expected, and I think everyone saw that. But now, there is no time for regrets. Of course, it has been hard because I was expecting to win the title, but that’s life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Now I have to take one step at a time, and I am focused on my next match in order to get ready,” said Lapicus.

“I am preparing for Eddie Alvarez, and I am 100 percent focused on this bout. If I win against Alvarez, it would be a watershed [moment] in my career. We are talking about a living legend of MMA. He fought against all the best in the game, and his name precedes him.”

“ONE on TNT I” features a main event showdown between ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, and 12-time UFC World Champion Demetrious Johnson and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes. Also on the card is an appearance from ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.

Only one man can move on to face the champion. If either man can put together a statement-making victory in this fight, the path to glory is fully laid out. Lapicus is completely fixated on earning himself another date with destiny and the ONE Lightweight World Championship. But so is Alvarez.

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Lapicus needs to put the American away if he wants to progress forward.

“I feel so confident because I want the ONE Championship World Title so bad, and this is the only way to have a second title shot.

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The “ONE on TNT” series will air every Wednesday in the United States from April 7 for four weeks. Each week will include a preliminary card digitally streamed exclusively on the Bleacher Report App and B/R Live from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, followed by three main card fights televised exclusively on TNT in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET. It will be available in Asia via the usual channels.

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Varun Khanna

1304 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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