Few athletes in The Home of Martial Arts own a 16-year professional resume similar to the one Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez has built up.
But despite being in the sport for over a decade and a half, Alvarez remains the same hungry athlete he was when he started.
But on Sunday, 13 October at ONE: CENTURY PART I, the American will try to satiate his hunger when he takes on Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final.
“I just need that belt around my waist. It’s history for the sport of mixed martial arts. No one has done it, and I don’t know if anybody else will do it for a long, long time,” the 35-year-old said ahead of his mega showdown on the single greatest martial arts event in the last 100 years.
“It’s going to take years in this sport and a lot of fights to be able to move from every major promotion and be able to call yourself the World Champion,” the Philadelphia native said. “It’s something for me that’s important.”
“For me as a fighter – and knowing what it takes to be a fighter and be consistent over a long period of time – it’s something that I will pride myself on forever.”
A win would make him the first-ever athlete to hold three World Titles across the largest martial arts organizations in the world.
The stakes are huge, and Ricardo Almeida BJJ representative accepts that the bout could go either way.
“I’ll figure out a way to win. I don’t always fancy myself the better fighter, but I always find a way to win. When guys are really good, I fight up to their level. I’m excited about that opportunity,” the American martial artist said.
“It’s going to come down to who’s more focused, who’s more ready, and who wants it more.”
ONE Championship breaks new ground in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, 13 October.
ONE: CENTURY features 28 World Champions, four World Title bouts, three World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and four World Champion versus World Champion matches.
Download the ONE Super App to catch all the action live and for free.