Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, 30, of Australia is one of the ONE Championship fighters who are looking forward to sharing the cage with Edward “Eddie” Alvarez, 37, of the United States. The latter is a former lightweight champion both in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and in Bellator MMA.
“If you fight Eddie, what do you think is his greatest strength that you need to watch out for?” I asked Caruso. The Italian-Greek-Australian mixed martial artist replied, “His biggest strength is his experience and knowledge inside the circle.”
“He also is a very explosive and dangerous martial artist with skills in all areas,” Caruso said of Alvarez. “His biggest strengths are his hands in my opinion.”
It is those very hands that made Alvarez’s most recent bout very controversial. He fought Iuri Lapicus, 25, of Moldova and Italy “ONE on TNT 1” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on April 7, 2021 with Justin Brown as the referee.
After 1 minute and 2 seconds in the first round, Brown put a stop to the lightweight contest. He later gave Alvarez a red card, disqualifying the MMA veteran due to illegal punch to the back of the head.
“I think the ref could have helped avoid that situation,” Caruso told me. “In saying that, it’s also just an unfortunate situation.”
“It’s cage fighting,” Caruso continued. “Accidents will happen and Eddie is a respectful and true martial artist and wouldn’t have done that intentionally.”
Both Lapicus and Caruso were undefeated before joining ONE Championship. After beating his first two opponents in the promotion, the Moldovan-Italian MMA fighter had his first professional MMA loss when he was knocked out by reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee, 22, of Singapore and the U.S. at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” on October 30, 2020.
On the other hand, Caruso has been fighting professionally since February 2, 2013. When he made his ONE Championship debut at “ONE: Dawn of Valor” on October 25, 2019, he lost via unanimous decision to Pieter “The Archangel” Buist, 33, of the Netherlands.
Caruso currently holds a professional MMA record of 8 wins and 1 loss. In his most recent bout, which was at “ONE: Inside the Matrix,” he defeated former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 37, of the Philippines via unanimous decision.