Martin Nguyen wants to fight Eddie Alvarez and is hoping the former UFC lightweight champion will move down in weight to make it happen.
Alvarez has spent virtually his entire career competing at lightweight but Nguyen is under the impression the American is considering dropping down a division,
“Man, I think it would be spectacular, with his experience, his caliber. I’d be more than honored to welcome him to the featherweight division. I’m sure if he gets past me, then he’ll obviously be a top-five, top-three contender for that title shot.”
Both men have had mixed results in recent fights. Alvarez has won one fight out of four since signing for ONE Championship and has not had the sort of impact which was anticipated when the deal was announced.
Timofey Nastyukhin SHOCKS THE 🌏! The Russian warrior knocks out Eddie Alvarez at 4:05 of Round 1 to advance in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix! #WeAreONE #ANewEra #Tokyo #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/YxUV0TSnFR
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 31, 2019
The Australian, who has spent a lot of time training in the US, has won just one out of his last three but is coming off a victory over promotional newcomer Kiril Gorobets. Alvarez is five years older but Nguyen thinks the UFC veteran has plenty left in the tank,
“Eddie Alvarez is (one of) the most experienced athletes in ONE Championship at the moment. In terms of MMA, I still feel like he’s got a few more fights underneath his belt, at least a minimum of three or four fights.”
Alvarez is a long way from a lightweight title shot. Current champion Ok Rae Yoon beat him fairly comfortably last time out and the American is not ranked in the top ten.
Nguyen is the former featherweight and lightweight champion and feels a matchup between him and Alvarez would make a lot of sense,
“He doesn’t really have anything to prove. He’s achieved it all. So you don’t count the old guy out until he’s completely out. I feel that I’m that person he should be fighting. I’m always ready to put my name and sign that contract. We’ll see what happens.”
ONE featherweight king 👑 Martin Nguyen called his shot and came through with a stunning second-round knockout of Koyomi Matsushima! @MartinNguyenMMA #WeAreONE #DawnOfHeroes #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/K2ZGd1RCrZ
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 2, 2019
Despite having won the lightweight title in 2017 he is not interested in returning to that division. Nguyen actually handed the belt back having successfully defended it once, he was never beaten at that weight.
But if Alvarez wants to fight him the American would need to make his featherweight debut,
“I think it’s almost like the stars aligned. If Eddie Alvarez comes down to featherweight, why not? You know, that’s perfect. He’s got all the backing behind him, the American fans. Let’s just make it happen, and I’m sure a lot of people will be tuning in.”
It is rare for a fighter to drop down in weight towards the end of their career but not completely unprecedented. Advances in sports science and nutritional knowledge mean that things are possible now that would not have been ten years ago.
Nguyen definitely seems to believe there is a serious possibility of Alvarez dropping down to featherweight and wants to be the one to welcome him to the division,
“I’m definitely excited about that idea. It would give me a chance to just make a statement.”