The upcoming lightweight fight between Eddie Alvarez (29-7) and Eduard Folayang (21-7) has now been added to the ONE Championship Lightweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals.
The change comes not long after Russian lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin (13-4) suffered a knee injury and withdrew from his semi-final bout against Honorio Banario (14-8).
Nastyukhin, 29, made waves back in March when he stopped Alvarez with strikes in the first round of their opening round matchup.
With the win, Nastyukhin advanced to the semi-finals, where he was set to face Lowen Tynanes (10-0). Tynanes, 28, defeated Banario in his opening round matchup, but also withdrew from the tournament due to injury. In his place stepped Banario, as has shown to be the case in the ONE Grand Prix tournaments; an injured fighter is typically replaced by his or her last opponent.
However, with the news of Nastyukhin’s injury, ONE Championship has decided to scrap the scheduled bout between Nastyukhin and Banario and instead declare the upcoming contest between Alvarez and Folayang as the new semi-final bout.
Alvarez and Folayang were already scheduled to fight at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila, Philippines, on August 2.
For Alvarez, it represents a second chance in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix and an opportunity to bounce back from his first-round defeat to Nastyukhin.
Folayang, on the other hand, now gains entry into the tournament after losing the ONE Lightweight Championship to Shinya Aoki in March.
The winner of this semi-final matchup will advance to face Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Finals.
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.