ONE Championship has been airing events on TNT almost every Wednesday night in April since they started with ONE on TNT 1. The event featured both former UFC fighters Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson on the main card to help bring the promotion some new eyes and make fight fans in the U.S. aware of their brand.
While the events featured some great fights, Alvarez’s bout on TNT leading in from AEW Dynamite did not go as smoothly as the promotion had hoped. While facing Iuri Lapicus, Alvarez landed some strikes that were viewed by the official as illegal. Lapicus was unable to continue and Alvarez was disqualified.
Alvarez has gone 1-2 since signing with ONE Championship and Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong has been wanting to bring their brand of MMA to the U.S. since last year with Alvarez but had to wait until now since the COVID-19 pandemic forced all sports to postpone or cancel most plans.
Alvarez was both upset by the call and more upset about causing damage to his opponent leaving him unable to compete. It was clearly an accident but once the call was made, it was not the U.S. debut ONE Championship or Alvarez had in mind. It looks like ONE on TNT IV looks to make up for that.
This Wednesday, ONE on TNT III will have Murat Gafurov and Ok Rae Yoon face off with the winner facing Alvarez on April 28. Before the fight against Lapicus was stopped, Alvarez was doing well and likely just wanted to get back into a winning groove. Fans will have to tune in to TNT the next two Wednesday nights at 10.P.M. EST to find out how things go.