“The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez, the most recent signing by ONE Championship, comes to the promotion with an impressive resume.
The 34-year-old has competed in various countries and for a number of organizations. In each of his stops, Alvarez has reached the pinnacle.
ONE Championship is the last major martial arts organization that Alvarez has yet to tackle. As we move closer to his debut and the beginning of his ONE Championship journey, let’s take a look at the five biggest victories he’s had in his career up to this point.
Derrick Noble – KO1 – June 2006
Eddie Alvarez won his first title by scoring a first-round KO of Derrick Noble in June 2006. The then 22-year-old Alvarez came out energetic and aggressive from the opening bell. His activity and power punches immediately caught Noble off guard. Alvarez stunned his opponent with a number of shots until he forced him into the corner and pounded away.
The referee ultimately stepped in and called a halt to the bout just over a minute into the match. In his exuberance, Alvarez climbed to the top rope in his corner and performed a backflip. The victory not only garnered him his first championship it also ran his record to a perfect 7-0 as a professional.
Tatsuya Kawajiri – KO1 – July 2008
Eddie Alvarez is no stranger to tournament competitions. He has had great success in that format. One of his first took place during a 2008 tournament when he faced top-ranked Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri in Japan.
Alvarez had already battled through a grueling quarterfinal bout with Joachim Hansen, that was one of the best matches of the year. In the semifinal, he was faced with taking down Kawajiri in his own country. Things didn’t look good for Alvarez early. A stiff right counter uppercut dropped The Underground King to his knees and Kawajiri attempted to pound him out from top position.
Alvarez’s legendary toughness would gain its foundation in this bout. As he secured the guard against Kawajiri, recovered and returned to his feet, he would go back on the offensive. Kawajiri would again catch him with a counter, but this time, even from his knees, Alvarez would continue throwing punches. His pressure and resilience ultimately wore on Kawajiri.
Alvarez knocked Kawajiri down and finished him with ground and pound to move on to the finals.
In the finals, he was supposed to face future and now former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki, but Alvarez was unable to continue due to facial injuries. Alvarez would face Aoki in his very next bout and lost via first-round submission.
However, Alvarez would gain some revenge in a bout with Aoki four years later when stopped him via TKO. With their head-to-head series tied at 1, it’s possible the two men could renew acquaintances for a rubber match in ONE Championship.
Toby Imada – SUB2 – June 2009
In another tournament format, Eddie Alvarez again shined. His ever-developing game shined through as he didn’t depend solely on his fists to defeat Toby Imada to capture the tournament championship.
Alvarez won the bout via second-round submission. He used a heavy right hand to drop Imada, but from there, his Jiu-Jitsu became the primary weapon. After securing Imada’s back, Alvarez sunk in the choke and forced the tap out.
Alvarez’s signature celebratory backflip was on full display as he’d captured yet another major world title.
Michael Chandler – SD – November 2013
Throughout his career, Eddie Alvarez had established a reputation as a martial artist known to take part in spectacular bouts. His next war was to take place in November 2013 against the highly respected “Iron” Michael Chandler.
A win would allow Alvarez to regain the title he’d won in the tournament final against Imada, and it would also allow him to even the head-to-head series with Chandler who had taken his title away in their first meeting. Alvarez lost to Chandler via submission in 2011.
The rematch was one of the single greatest martial arts competitions in history. The grit, determination, and sportsmanship displayed from both martial artist had ONE Championship’s values written all over it.
Alvarez eked out a close split-decision win to regain his title and to further cement his legacy as one of the greatest of all-time.
Rafael dos Anjos – KO1 – July 2016
In the United States, Eddie Alvarez had already conquered almost every major martial arts organization in existence. In July 2016, he’d earn another notch on his proverbial belt.
He took on champion and revered Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos during one of the biggest weekends on the UFC’s calendar.
Riding his traditional and aggressive style, Alvarez pressured Dos Anjos and landed a huge right hand that wobbled the champion with just over two minutes remaining in the opening round.
Dos Anjos is a warrior. He tried to stay on his feet and weather the storm, but Alvarez’s relentless attack forced the stoppage. Dos Anjos didn’t go down, but he had to acquiesce as Alvarez had clearly gotten the best of him.
It was the latest title in Alvarez’s career. Now, he focuses his attention on achieving the same level of success with ONE Championship. The journey should begin soon.
Do you think Eddie Alvarez will capture another belt in the ONE cage?