ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee has beaten four of the five ranked lightweight contenders sitting underneath him – but one man who’s not in the official rankings has been asking the promotion for a World Title shot.
That man is Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez.
Alvarez, however, has endured a string of bad luck in ONE Championship, winning only one of his four bouts in the organization – not the best argument for a title challenge.
In his debut, the American succumbed to the punching power of Timofey Nastyukhin, losing by first-round TKO. Alvarez turned his luck around in his second outing, where he submitted former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang by first-round rear-naked choke.
His next two fights bore little fruit, however.
Against #4-ranked lightweight Iuri Lapicus at “ONE on TNT I”, “The Underground King” was disqualified for unintentionally striking Lapicus in the back of the head. The decision was eventually overturned to a no contest, but the blemish fired up Alvarez, who wanted another bout soon after.
He got it at “ONE on TNT IV” a month later, where he took on #3-ranked lightweight Ok Rae Yoon. But Ok outworked Alvarez en route to a unanimous decision win.
Still, Alvarez has been adamant about challenging Lee for this belt, and he’s even stated his case on social media.
Lee, however, isn’t biting. He believes Alvarez has to earn the shot – not just ask for it.
“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.”
Some people might think that Lee is ducking Alvarez, but given his willingness to fight other contenders, that can’t be the case. Plus, Lee has not only beaten most of the top-ranked lightweights; he’s finished Nastyukhin, Lapicus, and Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in dominant form.
With that in mind, the reigning king believes it’s all about Alvarez earning his fair shot.
“Whatever fight they put in front of me, I’ve always taken,” Lee added.
“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.”
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