Eddie 'The Underground King' Alvarez is ready to leave Manila with a huge upset when he takes on hometown hero Eduard 'Landslide' Folayang at ONE: Dawn Of Heroes on Friday, 2 August.
Alvarez, a four-time Lightweight World Champion, wants to register his first ONE Championship win following a first-round TKO loss in his ONE debut against Russian powerhouse Timofey Nastyukhin.
Now that his bout is part of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix after Nastyukhin had to pull out due to injury, there is even more motivation for Alvarez.
“I’m going into the fight with a chip on my shoulder. I don’t like the way my debut went,” the Ricardo Almeida BJJ athlete said.
“I don’t like that I have to go to a guy’s home [country] and fight him there. I feel like my back is against the wall, and I’m going to relish that role. I’m going to silence the crowd.”
Despite the tough setting, the Philadelphia native is certain the three-round lightweight encounter at the Mall of Asia Arena will be fireworks from start to finish.
With 23 of his 29 wins coming by way of finish, there is little doubt that Alvarez can get a highlight-reel showing at The Home of Martial Arts.
“I’m looking forward to that feeling – that fear setting in, that anxiety, that anxiousness, all of that – and then coming out and performing in a way that I don’t even know I’m capable of,” Alvarez added.
Alvarez is also prepared physically.
“I have the ability to mix it up. I can go anywhere in a martial arts fight,” the Philadelphia native said. “I can go to the ground. I can wrestle. I can do jiu-jitsu. I can do it all. When I fight smart - and I’m a cerebral fighter - I can beat anybody in the world.”
Prepared mentally and physically for his upcoming test, Alvarez knows a win will bring him one step closer to his ultimate dream of being the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
His loss to Nastyukhin remains close to his heart, and he is aware of what he needs to improve against one of Team Lakay’s biggest martial arts star.
“In my bout with Timofey, I don’t know if maybe I needed to warm up more in the locker room, but I was a little more hesitant than what I wanted to be.”
Alvarez now understands what it will take to get the win, and he wants to take that lesson and use it as fuel for his next bout.
“I’m not happy with my performance, but I could understand why I lost. I know that I’m a lot better of a fighter than what I showed that night,” he said.
“If anything, the loss put a fire in my belly.”