The upcoming lightweight fight between Eddie Alvarez and Eduard Folayang, scheduled for ONE Championship’s event on Aug. 2 in Manila, will now serve as a tournament semifinal after Timofey Nastyukhin was forced to pull out of the grand prix with an injury, the promotion announced.
Alvarez (29-7, 1 no-contest), a former UFC and Bellator champion, met Nastyukhin in his ONE debut in March, losing via first-round knockout. Folayang (21-7), who lost the ONE gold to Shinya Aoki that same night in a non-tournament bout, now has a chance to join the company’s lightweight tournament.
The winner of this contest will meet Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev (8-1) in the grand prix final. Arslanaliev earned his spot in the final after scoring a couple of first-round knockouts, stopping Ev Ting in just 25 second and then Amir Khan in less than three minutes.
ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes will take place at Mall of Asia Arena and also feature the return of former UFC king Demetrious Johnson to action against Tatsumitsu Wada in a flyweight tournament semifinal bout. The other semifinal, Reece McLaren vs. Danny Kingad, is also scheduled for Aug. 2. The card will be headlined by featherweight champion Martin Nguyen defending his throne against Koyomi Matsushima.