NEWS ALERT: Eddie Alvarez has pulled out of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix due to injury. ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee has agreed to step into the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix to face Saygid Arslanaliev on Oct 13 in Tokyo at ONE: Century!!!— Chatri Sityodtong (@yodchatri) September 26, 2019
On Thursday, One CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that Alvarez suffered an injury and has been forced to pull out of the Lightweight Grand Prix. In his stead will be lightweight champ Christian Lee (12-3), who captured the strap by knocking out Shinya Aoki at One Championship: Enter the Dragon in May. Lee will be facing Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, and the two men will vie for the tournament championship at One Championship: Century. This two-part event will take place on Oct. 13 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.
My apologies, I am gutted , I can hold my head up and say with all honesty I gave this opportunity my all . I wanted this as bad as anything I ever wanted but for some reason it’s not my time right now . It’s time to rest and heal and come back stronger .— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) September 26, 2019
On social media, Alvarez expressed his regret and apologized for having to pull out of his fight. He said, "My apologies, I am gutted, I can hold my head up and say with all honesty I gave this opportunity my all. I wanted this as bad as anything I ever wanted but for some reason it's not my time right now. It's time to rest and heal and come back stronger.
Alvarez made his way back into the Lightweight Grand Prix by replacing Lowen Tynanes at One Championship: Dawn of Heroes in August. Previously, "The Underground King" suffered a knockout at the hands of Timofey Nastyukhin in his organizational debut in the tournament quarterfinals. As Nastyukhin was also unable to continue, he was replaced by former champ Eduard Folayang. The American overcame adversity and tapped Folayang with a rear-naked choke to advance to the finals.
Lee won lightweight gold by knocking out Aoki in May, as his first attempt for the throne was thwarted by Martin Nguyen in 2018, when Nguyen edged Lee by split decision. All 12 of Lee's victories have come before the final bell, and his last three wins have all ended by knockout. Every one of "The Warrior's" 15 career bouts have taken place under the One banner.
Arslanaliev has been equally destructive with the promotion, finishing all of his opponents in his wins, including seven of eight by first-round stoppage. "Dagi's" only loss is by disqualification, when he threw an illegal kick while Georgi Stoyanov was grounded at One Championship: Quest for Power in January 2017. "Dagi" holds a first-round knockout win over Nastyukhin, who ejected Alvarez from the tournament the first time.