Eddie Alvarez focused on ONE lightweight division, will not move up to welterweight

Eddie Alvarez

Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez appeared on ONE Championship’s Thursday evening media conference call, alongside ONE women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee, ONE women’s strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan, ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes, ONE interim bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon, and ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

Among the highlights of this call was Eddie Alvarez’s announcement that he plans to stick to ONE Championship’s lightweight division (169 pounds), and that he will not be heading north to the promotion’s welterweight division (185 pounds). Because ONE Championship does not allow extreme weight cutting, this would seem to rule out a widely desired fight with the promotion’s ostensibly retired former welterweight champion Ben Askren.

Eddie Alvarez also addressed the possibility of a rubber match with Japanese legend Shinya Aoki, who is currently the number one contender in ONE’s lightweight division. While Alvarez says he would happily fight Aoki if the fight is offered to him — perhaps even as part of ONE’s 2019 trip to Japan — he says a rematch with Aoki was not a major motivator in his signing with the promotion.

Whoever Eddie Alvarez winds up fighting in his ONE Championship debut, he says he expects that debut to occur in the early phases of the New Year.

Finally, Eddie Alvarez also added that he received offers from many other high profile promotions before signing with ONE, and that he was motivated by the allure of a ONE Championship title win.

What do you think the future holds for Eddie Alvarez in the ONE Championship cage? Who would you like to see him fight in his promotional debut in early 2019?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/17/2018.