WITH Timofey Nastyukhin forced to withdraw in his next bout due to injury, former world champion Eddie Alvarez of the United States and former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang will enter the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-finals.
Folayang and Alvarez will square off as part of an explosive fight card slated on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena dubbed ‘Dawn of Heroes.’
A four-time lightweight world champion, Alvarez is considered as an incredibly exciting martial artist and the only man in history to have claimed world titles in both of North America’s leading promotions.
Now on the global stage, Alvarez is intent on cementing his status as an all-time great as he seeks to capture the ONE lightweight world championship to become the first man to conquer the three largest organizations on the planet.
Alvarez hit a stumbling block in his ONE Championship debut when he ran into Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin but he is now on the comeback trail, and will need to defeat Filipino icon Folayang if he hopes to reinvigorate his chances at the ONE World Title.
Folayang is the former ONE Lightweight World Champion. Born in Baguio City, he joined the Philippines Wushu Team, and won several gold medals to become a national hero. “Landslide” then transitioned to mixed martial arts under coach Mark Sangiao at Team Lakay, and captured the Filipino welterweight championship in his June 2007 debut.
Folayang made his promotional debut in the main event of ONE Championship’s inaugural show in September 2011.
Five years later, he returned to Singapore to capture the lightweight world title, defeating the legendary Shinya Aoki. After losing the title, and then regaining it once more, Folayang defended the belt last March in a rematch with the Japanese warrior. The Filipino unfortunately fell via first round submission.
Folayang is expected to have the toughest test of his career against Alvarez.
The winner moves on to face Turkish sensation Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Finals.