In a battle between two former world champions, fortune played a huge factor.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not on Eduard Folayang’s side, since he suffered a first-round submission loss at the hands of Eddie Alvarez, Friday evening.
Alvarez will next face Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix on October 11 in Tokyo, Japan.
Still, the former UFC champion had to survive an early onslaught by the ex-ONE champion.
“I pictured this in my head. We saw it. We pulled it out as a team,” said Alvarez.
Folayang unleashed an early flurry on Alvarez, eventually knocking him down with a huge right leg kick just a minute and 23 seconds into the bout.
But the Baguio-native failed to capitalize on his advantage. As he rained punches on Alvarez, his opponent swept Folayang, exposing his back. Alvarez seized the opportunity, locking a tight rear-naked choke with 2:43 left in the round.
Folayang suffered with his second straight loss to drop to 21-8. Meanwhile, Alvarez rose to 30-7.
Both Folayang, who lost to Shinya Aoki during ONE: A New Era, and Alvarez, who lost to Timofey Nastyukhin in the same card, were replacement fighters.