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Confirmed: Eddie Alvarez signs for ONE Championship

One of the best MMA lightweights of all time signs on the dotted line to compete in ONE Championship

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Per Haljestam

The rumours are true. “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez is now a ONE Championship athlete.

Alvarez, a former two-time Bellator and one-time UFC lightweight world champion, has a long and well-earned reputation for being one of the most exciting lightweight fighters on the planet.

And now the Philadephia native will ply his trade on the other side of the world for the biggest martial arts organisation in Asia after it was confirmed that the high-profile free agent had signed a multi-bout contract with ONE Championship following the conclusion of his contract with the UFC.

ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong teased the signing in a cryptic Instagram post over the weekend, with many respondents predicting Alvarez’s signing.

And now the American’s arrival has been confirmed as he joins the organisation during arguably the most successful time in the promotion’s history.

“I am thrilled to announce that multiple-time world champion Eddie Alvarez will be joining ONE Championship on a multiple-bout contract,” said Sityodtong.

“Eddie is one of the best martial artists in the world, and is no doubt a tremendous addition to the ONE roster.

“The ONE Championship roster is incredibly deep with talents such as Shinya Aoki, Eduard Folayang, and Amir Khan, among others. I am excited to have Eddie in that mix and to see some amazing matchups and performances. This is no doubt one of the biggest athlete signings in the history of ONE Championship.”

A press release from ONE Championship confirmed Alvarez’s arrival and said he will compete in their lightweight division, where a host of exciting possibilities await for “The Underground King”.

The ONE lightweight division is arguably the most talent-filled weight class in the organisation, with the likes of former world champions Martin Nguyen, Eduard Folayang and former Alvarez opponent Shinya Aoki all competing at the top of their game, as well as contenders Amir Khan, Ev Ting, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, Ariel Sexton, Shannon Wiratchai and grappling legend Garry Tonon.

ONE Championship’s most recent event, ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, attracted an audience of 25 million, with their historic Bangkok event hosting a world championship boxing match between Thai hero Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Mexican Iran Diaz earlier this month.

Confirmed: Eddie Alvarez signs for ONE Championship

Eddie Alvarez will bring even more attention to ONE Championship (Per Haljestam)

The organisation has increased the number of events held per year, and has benefited from the rise to prominence of a host of home-grown world champions, including Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang and Australia’s Martin Nguyen.

The arrival of Alvarez will help to extend ONE’s global reach into the United States, with hardcore MMA fans Stateside sure to be keen to follow “The Underground King’s” fortunes in Asia as he begins a new chapter in his hall of fame-worthy career.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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