The ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix will wrap up at ONE: Century – Part 1 on Sunday, October 13 in Tokyo (11pm ET Saturday on TNT in the United States), as finalists Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev and Eddie Alvarez were slated to collide on the card.
Regrettably, Alvarez has been forced out of this massive showdown with an injury.
The good news is that Alvarez has been replaced by as big a foe as possible. Dagi will now meet ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee on the card — the man he was expected to earn a shot at had he beat Alvarez.
NEWS ALERT: Eddie Alvarez has pulled out of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix due to injury. ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee has agreed to step into the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix to face Saygid Arslanaliev on Oct 13 in Tokyo at ONE: Century!!!
— Chatri Sityodtong (@yodchatri) September 26, 2019
“NEWS ALERT: Eddie Alvarez has pulled out of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix due to injury. ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee has agreed to step into the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix to face Saygid Arslanaliev on Oct 13 in Tokyo at ONE: Century!!!” – Chatri Sityodtong
Eddie Alvarez was initially bounced from the Grand Prix in the first round, when he lost to Timofey Nastyukhin by first-round knockout. He was then given a second crack in the tournament in August, thanks to a slew of injuries to other fighters in the bracket. In this shot at redemption, he defeated former champ Eduard Folayang by submission to earn a spot in the finals opposite Dagi. Unfortunately, he won’t be competing as planned.
Dagi, on the other hand, looks like a juggernaut. He’s 8-1 overall, with his eight most recent fights occurring in ONE. His lone loss came via disqualification due to illegal stomps. He’s advanced through the tournament with first round knockouts of Ev Ting and Amir Khan.
Christian Lee, finally, won the title in May, when he defeated MMA legend Shinya Aoki by TKO.
To clarify, Lee’s belt will not be on the line in this fight. He and Dagi will only be competing for the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix belt.
When "Dagi" and Christian Lee fight at #ONECentury, Lee's lightweight belt will NOT be on the line. The only belt on the line will be the Grand Prix belt.
Dagi and Lee could conceivably fight again in the future for Lee's lightweight belt.
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) September 26, 2019
Do you think the champ is a good replacement for Eddie Alvarez?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/25/2019.