Given a second chance, Eddie Alvarez beats Eduard Folayang to advance to the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Finals
Alvarez is now one step closer to fighting for another title for another promotion.
There’s an old saying that a setback is a setup for a comeback. For Eddie Alvarez, he has had quite a few of the former in his long career. That only means that the comebacks are that much sweeter. After failing to win his first bout for ONE Championship, “The Underground King” made the most of his second chance, and then some.
At ONE: Dawn of Heroes, Alvarez (30-7, 1NC) defeated Eduard Folayang to advance to the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Finals.
“I imagined this, I pictured it in my head,” Alvarez stated after the fight. “We’ve seen this in my head. We persevered, we dealt with adversity, and we pulled it out the ‘W’. My coaches, my team, thank you guys so much.”
In his ONE debut back in March, Alvarez was shockingly eliminated from the Lightweight Grand Prix following a round-one knockout by Timofey Nastyukhin. Scheduled to face Folayang (21-8), a two-time ONE Lightweight Champion in a showcase bout, both were given the opportunity to fight in the semifinals following injuries to Lowen Tynanes and Nastyukhin.
Folayang started the contest hot right out of the gate, striking Alvarez early. Leg kicks forced Eddie down, with it looking like something was truly wrong with the way he was walking. The Philadelphia native was down on the mat, eerily similar to his last loss.
Unlike his previous bout, however, Alvarez managed to make a comeback. He was able to sweep Folayang and mounted him easily. A flurry of strikes followed until Alvarez was put in the position to apply the rear-naked choke. After a few moments of fighting through, Folayang had no choice but to tap out.
Eddie Alvarez overcomes Eduard Folayang’s fearsome wushu striking to score a submission victory and a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix finals! @Ealvarezfight #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/GsC9RNqL9F
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 2, 2019
With that win, Alvarez adds to his impressive resume of names that includes Rafael dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, Michael Chandler and Gilbert Melendez. Once on a three-fight win streak, Folayang is now on a two-fight skid.
Given a second chance, Alvarez is now another step closer to championship glory. He faces Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the Grand Prix finals, expected to take place in Tokyo, Japan on October 13 at ONE’s 100th show. A win would certainly provide him an opportunity to face Lightweight Champion, Christian Lee.
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