ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee doesn’t believe Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez has done enough to earn a crack at the gold – a point he made very clear in recent days.
And after the 37-year-old American legend continued to state his case for a World Title shot on social media, the divisional king suggested that age is likely the motivating factor.
“It’s a race against time for Eddie,” Lee said.
“He’s getting older. He’s really on a losing streak in ONE Championship, and he wants that title shot so bad. I think he’s just trying to do whatever he can to stir up some noise, to get some people behind him so that hopefully ONE Championship will present him the title shot, gift it to him.”
Ever since he signed with ONE Championship in October 2018, Alvarez has been on a historic quest to become the first person to win the Lightweight World Title in the world’s three biggest mixed martial arts organizations.
The Philadelphia native previously claimed the gold in both the UFC and Bellator, but he’s experienced an up-and-down campaign in ONE Championship.
Following an impressive submission of Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Alvarez ended up with a no-contest against #4-ranked lightweight Iuri Lapicus (originally a disqualification defeat) and then suffered an extremely narrow decision loss to #3-ranked Ok Rae Yoon in April.
However, “The Underground King” believes he was nearing a quick knockout victory over Lapicus and that he deserved to get the nod over Ok – two results that would have put him near the top of the lightweight rankings.
Though Lee doesn’t think Alvarez deserves a World Title opportunity right now, he’s never backed down from a challenge during his six-year mixed martial arts career.
For example, the Singaporean-American stepped up on three weeks’ notice – coincidentally replacing the then-injured Alvarez – to fight Turkish juggernaut Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final, which he won via unanimous decision.
With that in mind, the reigning lightweight king would also be willing to defend his belt against Alvarez if ONE’s matchmakers deem the mixed martial arts legend worthy of the challenge.
“Whatever fight they put in front of me, I’ve always taken,” Lee said.
“I don’t really see how it would be justified, fighting Eddie. But then again, if the company wants to make it happen, I’ve never turned a fight down.”