Iuri Lapicus suffered the first defeat of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career when he got finished by Christian Lee at ONE: “Inside the Matrix” last October in Singapore. But the Moldovan mauler understands the fastest way back to the lightweight title is by steamrolling Eddie Alvarez at ONE on TNT I on April 7.
And if a career gets ended in the process, then so be it.
“He feels like his time has come for the opportunity of a lifetime,” a translator for Lapicus told the MMA media. “Eddie Alvarez of course is one of the biggest names out there, he’s a legend, but he’s sure this time he’s gonna be the man who ends his career. He’s gonna finish him on the seventh of April.”
Lapicus (14-1) racked up 12 straight wins on the international circuit before crossing over to ONE Championship in early 2019. Back-to-back submission victories would grant him a crack at “The Warrior” in a fight that lasted a little over two minutes.
Alvarez (30-7) remains unimpressed.
“If you ever threaten me with ending my career, at first, you have to get a career,” Alvarez fired back. “You haven’t been around long enough to even have a career to threaten to take mine away. That’s how I feel about that.”
The former UFC lightweight champion, who also wore gold for Bellator MMA, stumbled in his ONE Championship debut opposite Russian bruiser Timofey Nastyukhin, but blasted his way back into the win column with a first-round victory over Eduard Folayang.
ONE on TNT I airs live at 10 p.m. ET on April 7.