Former world champion Eddie Alvarez signs with ONE Championship
Santino Honasan on Oct 16, 2018 12:20 PM
Eddie Alvarez is coming to ONE Championship (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)
ONE Championship's lightweight division just got even more stacked.
Following weeks of speculation, it was officially announced that former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez has signed with Asian martial arts giant ONE Championship.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong made the announcement via social media, Tuesday morning.
Please join me in welcoming Eddie Alvarez to @ONEChampionship! I am super excited for our fans to witness Eddie's high octane, explosive dynamite KO style. Stay tuned for more big news! @Ealvarezfight pic.twitter.com/bM3K0COlie— Chatri Sityodtong (@YODCHATRI) October 16, 2018
“The moment of truth has arrived. I know you heard the rumours, and they are true. We’ve got our official contract from [ONE Championship], and we’re all signed up," Alvarez revealed on the video.
"I want to thank Matt Hume for bringing all parties together…being patient with us, taking our time with this and making sure we were happy with everything that went on, and I want to thank Chatri [Sityodtong] and all the people at [ONE Championship], super professional, this couldn’t have went any smoother, didn’t take too long, and everybody’s happy, and I’m super excited," he continued.
Matt Hume, who serves as the Vice President for Operations for ONE Championship, is also one of mixed martial arts' most respected coaches, notably working with former UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson, former UFC Middleweight World Champion and Hall of Famer Rich Franklin, who is also a Vice President at ONE Championship, and reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes.
It didn't take long for "The Underground King" to issue a warning to the ONE Championship roster, as he made his intentions clear, showing off an empty spot on his championship display shelf.
"The Underground King is coming to [ONE Championship]," Alvarez warned, "and in preparation, I left that shelf empty, you guys know what that is for. I’m coming. Get ready."
A veteran of 36 professional mixed martial arts bouts, Alvarez, 34, has found success in virtually every stage he's been on.
The Philadelphia native began his career in 2003 and competed for promotions such as Ring of Combat, BodogFight, and the Japan-based DREAM.
It was in the American-based promotion Bellator however, where Alvarez made a name for himself, becoming the promotion's inaugural lightweight champion in 2009. Alvarez would become a two-time Bellator champion before jumping ship to the UFC, where he would go on to capture the promotion's lightweight world championship after building a three-bout winning streak.
Arguably the biggest athlete signing for ONE Championship, Alvarez provides a plethora of intriguing matchups, especially in the stacked lightweight division, headlined by former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, top contenders Amir Khan, Ev Ting, Honorio Banario, and many more.
The most intriguing however, would be a potential trilogy bout between Alvarez and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.
Alvarez and Aoki have crossed paths twice before, with Aoki winning via submission in their first meeting in 2008 and Alvarez getting the win back via TKO in their second meeting in 2012.
Aoki is currently the top contender to the ONE Lightweight World Championship, awaiting the winner of the Folayang-Khan bout for the vacant title at ONE: Conquest of Champions on Novemeber 23rd in Manila.