ONE Championship’s signing of former UFC and Bellator MMA Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez (29-6) has got the mixed martial arts fraternity buzzing.
Among them are Malaysia’s top martial artists, who are looking forward to sharing a card with the 34-year-old from Philadelphia, United States.
Former World Title contender Ev “E.T.” Ting said Alvarez’s addition to the lightweight ranks should bring a healthy and more competitive division.
“This move surely stacks up the division nicely,” the 29-year-old offered.
Ting is convinced that every lightweight on the roster will be preparing themselves should the opportunity arise to compete against a legend.
“All athletes should already be training hard and smart. Alvarez is a multiple-time World Champion who brings years of experience.
“He’s definitely training harder than ever,” he uttered.
Alvarez is one of the most battle-hardened competitors actively competing in the sport.
He brings over 15 years of experience with him into ONE Championship, including 35 duels with some of the sport’s elite.
ONE Atomweight Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan (3-0) said this signing shows ONE Championship’s strength in the market, going on to add that Alvarez will bring a new degree of excitement to the fans.
“Eddie Alvarez is an exciting athlete. He’s gotten multiple fight of the night bonuses in other promotions before.
“Wherever he battles, fireworks are guaranteed,” the 20-year-old said confidently.
She admitted that she’s even more excited for a potential rubber match between Alvarez and Shinya Aoki (42-8, 1 NC), who are tied after their previous two meetings.
“The rivalry between the two can finally get a trilogy here at ONE. I want to be there when it happens.”
The country’s very own martial arts brothers, Keanu and Gianni Subba echoed the same sentiments, stating that they were delighted by ONE’s latest signing.
Keanu (6-3) said: “I feel like we’re going to see a whole new level of martial arts at ONE Championship. I also believe that the athletes we have are capable of putting up a good fight and beating him.
“I’ve been following his career throughout his Bellator MMA and UFC days,” he continued. “I must say, I love watching his skill set in the cage.”
Gianni, 25, believes Alvarez is still at his best and will be a crowd-puller at any ONE event across Asia.
“He’s still a top athlete. This will open the eyes of martial artists competing in other promotions and make them go, ‘Hey, that’s ONE Championship, we could go there.’”
The elder Subba brother described “The Underground King’s” style as an athlete who brings his heart and intensity to the cage every time.
“Alvarez brings a good Mexican style of fighting, aggressive, and he’s real good with his grappling and wrestling too.
“Overall he’s such an attractive athlete to watch, and the chance of Ev Ting stacking up against him will be crazy too.”