Eddie Alvarez Looking to Make a Case for World Title Shot With Win Over Iuri Lapicus

Published 04/06/2021, 1:07 AM EDT


Multiple-time former lightweight world champion and all-around legend Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez is perhaps one solid victory away from earning himself a shot at ONE Championship gold.

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Alvarez is set to face #2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus 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.

The 37-year-old veteran says he’s ready to make a statement in his next fight, and perhaps rattle the cage hard enough to warrant a crack at the title next.

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“A statement with a big win will do it. I’m not the promoter, but for me, it’s about going in there and always making a statement,” Alvarez told the media at the ‘ONE on TNT I’ Virtual Media Day.

“I’m not here just to win. Wins are for me, but being spectacular is for the fans. I step in the cage and the idea is always to be spectacular. Winning is usually just a by-product of that. I’m ready to go.”

Lapicus, who was most recently in the Circle with lightweight king Christian Lee himself, is a name not many American mixed martial arts fans are familiar with. But according to Alvarez, that doesn’t make him any less dangerous.

The Moldovan trains with some of the best martial artist talent in the world, including kickboxing legends like Giorgio and Armen Petrosyan, among others. Needless to say, Lapicus is a legitimate threat to Alvarez’ title hopes.

The American, however, says he feels no pressure heading into this juncture of his career, and that all it takes is a resounding victory to remind fans of his capabilities as a fighter.

“What I need to do is already done. Come fight night, I just have to perform and execute. I’ll do the same things I’ve been doing for the past two months. I’ll go out there, put pressure on my opponent, touch him up. I think I have a lot of advantages in boxing. I think he makes a lot of mistakes standing up, and I’m going to make him pay,” said Alvarez.

“The only proving that I feel like I have to do is to myself. I just want to go out there, put on my best show. I know what I did, I know the kind of camp I’ve put in, the sacrifice I’ve put in, and the improvements that I’ve made. I prove things to myself as a martial artist.”

“Everyday, I make that walk into things that sometimes I don’t want to do, and it requires the discipline and the courage to do that. At the end of the day, I’m proud of myself for that. I prove things to myself, I don’t prove things to anyone else,” Alvarez added.

“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.

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Alvarez is excited to be back in front of an American prime time audience, and for the chance to represent ONE Championship in the western world.

“I kind of feel like this is going to be ONE’s coming out party in America. Until now, it’s been on coffee time in the mornings. As far as the marketing of the events, I think they took it to another level. They’ve done some really good production, some really good media behind this, and it has a really good push,” said Alvarez.

“American fans will see ONE Championship in a different light, come April 7th. I’m excited to be part of that event. After April 7th, when they see what they see, there will be a new guy in town.”

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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

1305 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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