ONE Championship will begin its primetime run in April, and each of the four events features a stacked line-up to help showcase the global talent across both mixed martial arts and ONE Super Series.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Iuri Lapicus Preview
In the first event, ONE on TNT, the co-main event will be a lightweight showdown between Eddie Alvarez and #2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus.
The meeting between the two should provide endless fireworks as they are two aggressive finishers. It is a stylistic matchup that could provide the sport with one of its more entertaining matches in all of 2021.
Eddie Alvarez is the known commodity in the matchup. The multiple-time Lightweight World Champion has seen gold around his waist in every major promotion where he has competed, but he has yet to earn his shot in ONE. A win over Lapicus could secure the title shot and give the living legend another chance to cement an already incredible legacy.
However, it has not been smooth sailing for the American. The Philadelphia native has been met with tough opposition in the highly competitive lightweight division.
In Alvarez’s organizational debut, he was defeated by current title challenger Timofey Nastyukhin before rebounding against Eduard “Landslide” Folayang in a match where he had to overcome early adversity before getting the finish.
The competition only stiffens against one of the most unheralded young stars in the sport today.
Lapicus has a perfect 100% finishing rate to his credit and has not only shown his fantastic ground game but, under the tutelage of Team Petrosyan, the Italian-based Moldovan has seen big strides made to his striking game.
The Moldovan earned a shot at gold in 2020 but came up short in a wild contest against reigning king Christian “The Warrior” Lee. Although he dropped the bout for his first career loss, Lapicus stunned the United MMA star early and was on the brink of shocking the world.
He’ll be looking to make his name off of Eddie Alvarez on April 7.
And that is what is on the line. It is more significant than just a potential title shot.
A victory for Lapicus would be massive for his exposure as one of the top lightweights in the world. The quiet-spoken but confident European could put himself right back in-line for a shot at gold, but on his second attempt, have a new swath of fans to cheer him on as a new face of lightweight glory.
But Eddie Alvarez is not ready to see a new generation usurp his position.
“The Underground King” wants another run atop a major organization and to establish a long-lasting legacy as one of the all-time greats in the sport regardless of weight. A legacy that is already deserved but would then become undeniable.
Those are the real stakes, and they supersede the baseline title eliminator that the match could be. This is a match of eras and legacy. There is nothing more a fan could want.
ONE on TNT will air on Wednesday, April 7, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on TNT.
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