Former Bellator and UFC titleholder Eddie Alvarez claims ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong is what separates his current promotion from others he has previously worked with.
Speaking exclusively to LowKickMMA the 36-year-old explained how he has experienced a greater level of care as a fighter and as an athlete since joining ONE Championship in 2018.
“With ONE there’s a lot more attention to the athlete. It’s above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. They just go above and beyond for the fighter to make the fighter feel comfortable and then make the fighter feel valuable. Like you’re worth something to the company. They appreciate the life’s work that the fighter has put into the sport.”
All the attention has clearly bought loyalty from Alvarez who has grown attached to the promotion. He said not only does he want to retire with ONE, he also wishes to be a part of the company’s growth in his homeland.
“I don’t just want to end my career at ONE. I want to help build ONE to grow a larger audience here in the United States. I consider myself a part of ONE championship now, not just a fighter.
For Alvarez though the most notable difference has been working with ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong who as a lifelong martial artist has a greater understanding and compassion towards his fighters.
“The biggest difference is that the CEO, the president of the company is a lifelong martial artist. So, there’s a degree of compassion and sympathy that he has for the fighters that no other president or CEO can have. He’s lost before and he’s won before. He’s been in fights before, so he understands on a level that most presidents, most CEOs don’t. It’s a lot different to work with Chatri than any every other president or CEO I’ve ever worked for. I’ve been lucky enough sign with ONE and have someone as gracious and someone as understanding as Chatri.
Beyond the differences in fighter care, Alvarez has noticed some considerable differences in fighting styles and ability. According to ‘The Underground King’ the fighting styles are much more varied in ONE Championship and the striking is on a much higher level in Asia than he’s previously experienced in America.
“In the United States there’s a large wrestling background and it’s all American wrestling. When you go to ONE it’s more, there’s a lot of Turkish, a lot of Russians, a lot of Dagestanis. So, it’s a different kind of wrestling that you deal with. I believe that the striking is a way higher calibre than here in the United States. The striking is some of the best I’ve ever seen. So, it definitely forces you to step your game up.”
Since beating Eduard Folayang in August 2019, Alvarez has been nursing an injury to his ankle which forced his withdrawal from the ONE Championship Grand Prix. Now fully recovered he’s gearing up to face highly touted Dagestani prospect Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev on May 29 in Manila in the Philippines.
Despite being almost three months out from the fight preparations are well underway for Alvarez who is confident of putting on a show against a very dangerous opponent.
“I know he’s a heavy puncher with decent grappling. He’s a black belt in jujitsu. So, he’s a very tough opponent for anyone and very dangerous. I’m looking forward to showcasing my skills. I had enough time to reset and get healthy and I’m looking forward to the best performance that I’ve had in a long time.
Will Eddie Alvarez become champion in yet another promotion with ONE Championship?