Eddie Alvarez faces Eduard Folayang in semi-final of ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix
Eddie Alvarez takes on Eduard Folayang on Friday August 2 at the Mall of Asia in Manila, Philippines. The pair squares off in the semi-final bout of ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix battling it out on the “Dawn of Heroes” fight card.
Alvarez is former UFC and Bellator Lightweight champion. He fell short in his ONE Championship debut in March, suffering the defeat by knockout in the first round against Timofey Nastyukhin. Nevertheless “The Underground King” is looking to rebound, taking on former ONE Lightweight champion, local hero Eduard Folayang.
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At the official press conference held on Tuesday, Alvarez thanked the Filipino audience, and showed respect to his opponent. In addition, the American mixed martial artist said it was “unusual for him to be the bad guy.”
“Thank you Manila. I rarely come as a nemesis to a country. Usually, I’m the guy holding the belt. It’s unusual for me to be the bad guy, but I promise you if I’m the bad guy, I will not disappoint,” said Eddie Alvarez. “I respect Eduard [Folayang]. I respect everything he’s done not just as a fighter, but also as a human being for his community. This is what this sport is all about. It’s beyond what goes on in the Circle. In the movies, heroes always prevail. The nemesis loses, he goes home and everybody’s happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the story here. You picked the wrong guy at the wrong time. I love you Manila. I respect you Eduard. Let’s have some fun.”
Folayang also faced the defeat in his previous bout at the same event as Alvarez. He was submitted by Shinya Aoki in the first-round, who claimed the belt and became a new champion in the division. (Aoki lost the belt in his following outing in May against Christian Lee).
“I’m really excited to be competing in Manila again. Of course, I’ll be facing Eddie [Alvarez]. He’s one of those athletes that I spent a lot of time watching before.” Eduard Folayang said. “He says this isn’t the right time, but I believe it’s God’s time. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to test my skills against him. My preparations have gone well. I lost my belt last March. That chapter of my career has closed. It’s time to write another chapter of my journey.”
In the main event of “ONE Dawn of Heroes” Martin Nguyen defends his featherweight title against Koyomi Matsushima. In the co-main event Jonathan Haggerty defends his flyweight Muay Thai title against Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
The fight card also includes a pair of semi-final bouts of ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix featuring Demetrious Johnson up against Tatsumitsu Wada, and Danny Kingad face off Reece McLaren. The complete fight card can be found here.