Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez has broken his silence.
On Thursday, 18 October, the American superstar joined the ONE: HEART OF THE LION Global Press Conference Call with the media, and he spoke for the first time since officially signing with ONE Championship earlier this week.
The 34-year-old previously held lightweight world titles in two of North America’s biggest mixed martial arts promotions, and the opportunity to capture a record-setting third major world championship in his weight class was something he could not pass up.
“ONE is the only major organization that I haven’t got to touch that world title belt, and I think for myself, my family, my fans, and everyone, this would mean I have a chance at making history — possibly history that could never be made again,” he states.
“It would take a fighter 20 years in the fight game to be able to fight for these organizations, and it’s almost like a lottery ticket to be able to win one world title. So to go to every major organization, fight the best guys in that organization, and beat them one-by-one and win [a third] world title means the world to me. It’s another thing to get excited about.”
Another thing that attracted “The Underground King” to The Home Of Martial Arts was competing at his walking-weight.
ONE has banned weight-cutting by dehydration and has instead implemented a revolutionary system that ensures all of its athletes are hydrated, fit, and healthy before entering the cage or the ring.
“I love the idea of this. I have been an advocate of it for years,” Alvarez says.
“I’ve been cutting weight pretty much ever since I was 15 years old, and there is not a healthy way to do that. The whole idea of it is unhealthy, and to be able to have to compete within a 15-hour to 20-hour frame immediately after being severely dehydrated is a tough thing to do.
“I don’t mind it, and I’ve done it for years. But, I’m very, very excited about the idea of being fully hydrated, not making that weight cut, and being able to compete at my ‘walk-around’ weight. I guess it’s healthy for me, but I feel like it’s going to be dangerous for my opponents.”
In addition to that, Alvarez appreciated how ONE offered him something much more than a financially lucrative contract.
There were several mixed martial arts companies that approached him with strong financial offers, but the organization wanted to establish a long-lasting relationship with the American that goes well beyond a business partnership.
“It’s a business first with these promotions, and ONE looked out for me, looked out for my family,” he says. “They understood my wants and my needs, and I think it’s important at this point to return the favor.”
Alvarez expects to be in the ONE cage soon enough, too.
The American will attend ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore on Friday, 9 November. He will be a guest at cageside that night, but he plans to return to Asia and make his highly anticipated debut in the world’s largest martial arts organization early in 2019.
While a date and an opponent have yet to be determined, “The Underground King” guarantees he will be ready to begin his quest to the ONE Lightweight World Title.
“It’s going to be incredible,” he says. “I promise you guys, everyone who has seen me fight, you are in for a show.”