After a 20-month layoff, Former UFC and Bellator Champion Eddie Alvarez returned to the case against Iuri Lapicus at ONE on TNT on April 7. However, Alvarez’s long-awaited return ended in a controversy due to his repeated illegal punches in the first round.
Alvarez had a great chance to become a contender for gold in the Asian-based promotion. Nevertheless, he missed the opportunity and went home with a disqualification loss in his record. Further, the referee stopped the fight after one minute of the action as the Lapicus was not in a state to continue the bout to the next round.
However, Alvarez did not realize that the punches were illegal. “I thought as long as I’m hitting the ear, I thought it was legal,” he said in an interview.
Alvarez immediately contested the legality of the blows right after the stoppage, but later expressed only concern for Lapicus’ health.
- ‘All that Matters is your Safety’ Eddie Alvarez wishes Iuri Lapicus a speedy recovery post disqualification
Eddie Alvarez laid off the timeline
Alvarez returned to the case at ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes on August 2, 2019, against former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang. However, he won the bout via a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Later, the 37-year-old was expected to fight Saygid Arslaniev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix final at the end of 2019. But news surfaced that he had to withdraw from the bout due to a shoulder injury caused during the training.
The bout with Arslaniev was to be rebooked for ONE Infinity 2 on 26 June 2020. But canceled due to the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports.
After the most recent loss against Lapicus, Alvarez does not have any more shots to unite the title. Subsequently, if Alvarez conquered the bout, he would have been a step closer to competing for ONE’s lightweight championship.
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