Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is back in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
After being eliminated from the tournament by Timofey Nastyukhin in March, Alvarez has re-entered the field as Nastyukhin has been forced to withdraw from the semifinals with an injury.
Alvarez’s bout with two-time ONE lightweight king Eduard Folayang, already scheduled for ONE: Dawn of Heroes, will now serve as a Lightweight Grand Prix semifinal fight, meaning the winner will be fighting Turkish destroyer Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the tournament final tentatively scheduled for ONE: Century in Tokyo in October.
This tournament has regrettably been plagued by injuries — so much so that it is nearly unrecognizable from its original version.
After defeating Amir Khan in the opening round, Costa Rica’s Ariel Sexton was forced out of the tournament with a broken arm. Khan then re-entered the tournament, and was eliminated by Dagi. Undefeated Hawaiian Lowen Tynanes was also forced out of the Grand Prix after defeating Honorio Banario in the first round. He was expected to meet Nastyukhin in the semifinals, who has now also withdrawn, opening the door for Eddie Alvarez and Eduard Folayang.
ONE: Dawn of Heroes will go down on August 2 in Manila, Philippines. The card stands out as one of the biggest ONE Championship has ever promoted.
It will be topped by a featherweight title fight between champion Martin Nguyen and challenger Koyomi Matsushima, and a flyweight Muay Thai title fight between champion Jonathan Haggerty and challenger Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Elsewhere on the card, we’ll witness the two semifinal bouts of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. On one side of the bracket, we’ll see former UFC champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson meet Tatsumitsu Wada. On the other side, Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad will meet Reece McLaren, who replaces the injured former champion Kairat Akhmetov.
How do you think Eddie Alvarez will perform in his second ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix opportunity?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/15/2019.