5 reasons Iuri Lapicus could actually beat Eddie Alvarez at ONE on TNT 1
Five reasons Iuri Lapicus could actually beat Eddie Alvarez at ONE on TNT 1.
Iuri Lapicus was so close to the gold that he could almost taste it.
So much so that his first-round defeat to ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee at ONE: Inside the Matrix last October hardly downed the Moldovan fighter. Instead, the loss, the first of his career, only motivated him more to get back up and take another crack at the title. And what better way to earn another shot at glory than getting his hands raised in his upcoming bout against Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at ONE on TNT I on April 7.
Here are five reasons why Lapicus shouldn’t be looked at as the underdog in this fight.
Lapicus is significantly younger
Much has been said on the gaudy resume that Alvarez has had in his 17-year career, but one shouldn’t be fooled … Alvarez is already at a tender age of 37. That, to his foes, means that his best days may very well be behind him and puts him in a vulnerable position against Lapicus.
The 25-year-old killer has time and again showcased his youth, exhibiting his speed may it be through striking or his ground game. It’s a dangerous position to be in if you’re Alvarez, one Lapicus would be very more than happy to exploit in their clash.
Lapicus holds the size advantage
Standing at 5’9, Lapicus is considerably taller than Alvarez, who’s at 5’7. The height advantage may not mean much on paper, but considering the heft that the Moldovan bruiser has, it’s definitely not going to be an easy night for the American. Lapicus has capitalized on this edge in his previous fights, using every part of his body to rack up a murderer’s row of victims and position himself as the No. 2-ranked lightweight in ONE Championship.
Lapicus’ all-around game is also world-class
Alvarez’s bread-and-butter has been his all-around game, taking pride in his grappling thanks to his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt as well as his striking courtesy of his boxing trainer Mark Henry. Those skills helped him earn a multitude of championships in his near-two-decade career.
But Lapicus’ abilities aren’t far off. His judo background has helped him immensely in his ground game, while honing his striking skills in his time with Team Petrosyan in Milan, Italy where he trained with Armenian-Italian kickboxing brothers Giorgio and Armen Petrosyan. That versatility has come in handy for him, showcasing his ability to knock his opponents off, his latest being a first-round technical knockout win over Ibrahima Sarr at PetrosyanMania in February 2019, or to make his opponents submit, like when Marat “Cobra” Gafurov tapped in the first round to a rear-naked choke at ONE: Warrior’s Code In February 2020.
Lapicus’ KO power is no joke
If there’s one thing Alvarez should watch out for, it’s Lapicus’ deadly hands. Lapicus has had a penchant for ending his fights early, with four of his former opponents tasting the mat within the first three minutes of the match. Most brutal of Lapicus’ finishes wAS his 41-second knockout of Giovanni Bagnasco in May 2017, a prelude of what’s to expect from his career in the following years. Even if his strikes don’t seal the deal, it serves as setups that allow him to take his opponents to the ground for the submission finish. It’s a big reason why all but one of Lapicus’ 14 wins end within round one.
Lapicus wants that gold
Here’s the clearest reason why Alvarez should really take Lapicus seriously: the Moldovan is hungrier than ever. His shock defeat to Lee six months ago left a stinging and bad taste on Lapicus’ mouth that he’s driven more than ever to get back in the cage and redeem himself after seeing his 14-fight win streak snapped. And he understands that to get another crack at Lee’s ONE lightweight title, he has to reaffirm his position as the top contender in the weight division.
Lapicus currently sits at No. 2 in the rankings, behind current champion Lee and No. 1 contender Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev. An emphatic victory over a world-class fighter like Alvarez should vault him back in the title conversation.
ONE on TNT 1 takes place on Wednesday April 14, live from Singapore. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights. The card will air on TNT in the US.
Published at Tue, 23 Mar 2021 22:08:43 +0000