The first ONE Championship bout of Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 34, of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States has been announced. In his promotional debut, he will face Timofey Nastyukhin, 29, of Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo Oblast, Siberia, Russia.
Competing in the lightweight division, Alvarez and Nastyukhin will battle it out at “ONE: A New Era” at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019. It is the first ever ONE Championship event to take place in Japan.
In October 2018, Alvarez joined ONE Championship, taking his stellar career back to Asia where he first made a name for himself. A multiple-time lightweight World Champion, he seeks to become a ONE World Champion but will have to go through a bevy of top lightweight contenders in order to achieve his goal.
Alvarez is the first mixed martial artist to win titles in the UFC and Bellator MMA. He held the Bellator Lightweight Championship title twice.
On June 19, 2009, Alvarez became the Bellator Lightweight Champion when he defeated Toby Imada at “Bellator 12.” However, the former lost the title to Michael Chandler on November 19, 2011 at “Bellator 58.”
On November 2, 2013, Alvarez was named the Bellator Lightweight Champion for the second time by defeating Chandler in their rematch at “Bellator 106.” The former was granted a release from Bellator MMA on August 19, 2014 and the title was vacated.
When Alvarez made his UFC debut at “UFC 178” on November 2, 2013, he lost to Donald Cerrone. It was on June 13, 2015 when Alvarez had his first win in the UFC by defeating Gilbert Melendez at “UFC 188.”
On July 7, 2016, Alvarez became the new UFC Lightweight Champion by dethroning then champion Rafael dos Anjos at “UFC 185.” On November 12, 2016, Alvarez lost the title when he lost to Conor McGregor at “UFC 205.”
The last time Alvarez competed in the UFC, he had his rematch with Dustin Poirier. The two encountered each other inside the cage for the first time on May 13, 2017 at “UFC 211” but their bout ended in a No Contest.
On July 28, 2018, Alvarez and Poirier fought in the UFC cage for the second time. The latter knocked out the latter at “UFC on Fox 30” via punches.
Currently, Alvarez holds a professional MMA record of 29 wins, 6 losses and 1 No Contest. On the other hand, Nastyukhin has 12 wins and 4 losses.
On December 5, 2014, Nastyukhin made his ONE Championship debut at “ONE: Warrior’s Way” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. He knocked out Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines via flying knee and soccer kicks at 3:11 of Round 1.
On June 20, 2015, Nastyukhin returned to the cage and defeated Yusuke Kawanago, 35, of Japan at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions.” The Russian fighter knocked out his Japanese opponent via soccer kicks a 1:32 of Round 1.
The third time Nastyukhin won a ONE Championship bout was on May 27, 2016. He knocked out Rob Lisita, 34, of Australia at “ONE: Kingdom of Champions” via punch and soccer kick at 0:06 of Round 1, which was the promotion’s fastest knockout ever.
On August 5, 2017, Nastyukhin won a ONE Championship bout for the fourth time. He defeated his Japanese opponent Koji Ando via unanimous decision at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors.”
Nastyukhin went on hiatus for several months and made a comeback at “ONE: Quest for Gold” on February 23, 2018 at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. He won via unanimous decision against Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore.
On September 22, 2018, Nastyukin lost to Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, 29, of Dagestan, Russia at “ONE: Conquest of Heroes” at the Jakarta Convention Center. The latter knocked out the former.
Tickets for ONE: A NEW ERA go on sale December 20, 2018 at 6PM JST and is available on LINE Ticket at https://ticket.line.me/sp/ONEChampionship, Kyodo Tokyo, Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, and E-plus from January 27, 2019.