Now, with the contract signed, fans across the globe are excited to see “The Underground King” compete against the premier lightweights in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
There are several enticing potential match-ups for the 34-year-old American. With that in mind, here are five opponents who could give him a thrilling bout.
Will Eduard "The Landslide" Folayang be crowned king of the lightweights on 23 November?Manila | 23 November | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onechampions18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 14, 2018
A match with Filipino icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang could be one of the most anticipated battles in the promotion’s history.
The 34-year-old’s world-class striking has been the cornerstone of his mixed martial arts success, as he has utilized his wushu stylings to guide him to the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
He would be the perfect foil for the American newcomer, who loves nothing more than to stand up and trade.
Folayang has also fortified his skill set with an ever-improving grappling game, which he showed in his most recent victories when he authored the first defeats in the careers of Russian standouts Kharun Atlangeriev and Aziz Pahrudinov.
“Landslide” has the striking, the grappling, and the cardio to test Alvarez, which could lead to one of the best bouts ever contested in the ONE cage.
Will Amir Khan Ansari do this to Eduard "The Landslide" Folayang on 23 November?Manila | 23 November | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onechampions18
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, October 11, 2018
Amir Khan may be one of the youngest lions on this list, but he is one of the most skilled and successful lightweights in The Home Of Martial Arts.
The Singaporean Muay Thai Champion already holds a plethora of promotional records including the most wins in the organization (11), the most finishes (10), and the most knockouts (8).
While he is best known for his striking, the 23-year-old has showcased improved grappling skills in recent bouts – highlighted by his rear-naked choke of Honorio Banario in September, which he achieved in the first round.
What. A. Finish! Saygid "Dagi" Arslanaliev takes out Timofey Nastyukhin with a crazy combination at 1:57 of Round 1!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, September 22, 2018
Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev has some traits that are quite similar to Alvarez.
The 23-year-old from Istanbul, Turkey is a formidable mixed martial artist who has knockout power, explosive wrestling, and smothering jiu-jitsu.
He smoothly blends the arts together and fearlessly attacks his opponents with everything in his arsenal. Arslanaliev is quick to transition from striking to grappling in search of a finish – and he has stopped his opponent in each of his wins.
“Dagi” is one of the promotion’s most talented rising stars, and following his recent TKO victory over Timofey Nastyukhin, he is due for a big name. He could be the man to welcome Alvarez to the ONE cage.
Shinya Aoki's performance was ___ !Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 7, 2018
There is a lot of history between these two modern-day legends, who match up to make a classic grappler versus striker contest.
The first time the American squared off against Shinya Aoki was on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Japan.
Alvarez stalked his rival in an attempt to exchange with strikes, but “Tobikan Judan” quickly succeeded in bringing “The Underground King” to the ground, where he forced a tap via heel hook in 92 seconds.
When these two met in April 2012 in the United States, the result could not have been any more different.
A failed takedown attempt from Aoki meant the battle would be contested on the feet, which put the ball in Alvarez’s court. Two minutes in, he dodged an elbow strike and dropped the Asian martial arts icon with an uppercut. He followed up by raining down punches to get a first-round TKO.
Ever since then, fans have called for a trilogy bout. Now, the former ONE Lightweight World Champion and the division’s newest superstar have a chance to settle the score.
Timofey Nastyukhin looked unstoppable in Yangon!
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Timofey Nastyukhin is one of the most dynamic stand-up martial artists in the lightweight division.
The Russian is a well-rounded competitor who prefers to use his versatile striking repertoire to defeat his opponents. Half of his career victories have come by knockout, including his six-second KO of Aussie hard-hitter Rob Lisita in May 2016, which stands as the joint-fastest finish in ONE history.
In addition to his stopping power, Nastyukhin also has incredible endurance.
He can apply pressure and trade strikes for three hard rounds, which means he has the tools to match with Alvarez’s pace and go toe-to-toe until the final bell. This match-up would be a treat for martial arts fans.