FILE PHOTO – Eddie Alvarez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo / INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – Eddie Alvarez’s third bout in the ONE Championship ended in controversy after being disqualified 1:02 in his lightweight bout against Iuri Lapicus in ONE on TNT I on Thursday at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Referee Justin Brown disqualified Alvarez after landing several shots in the back of the head from Lapicus, a move deemed illegal in the promotion, as the two fighters tangled on the ground.

Alvarez (30-8) got the top spot and started landing a few punches initially to the side of Lapicus’ head, with Brown verbally telling the former UFC lightweight champion to “watch the back of the head ”.

Lapicus (15-1) tried to turn his head to the right to avoid more shots from Alvarez, but that only brought more punishment as he fell to the mat.

Brown warned Alvarez after stopping the fight and gave the Underground King a red card, meaning disqualification in ONE Championship.

“Iuri was turning his head the other way and the ref warned me, he said ‘the back of the head, Eddie,’ Alvarez said after the fight.“ So you see me take my lead and I start pushing his head towards my punch. You will see him in the strip. When the referee warns me, I take my own head and push Iuri’s head to the side of the punch. In addition to this, I felt like as long as I was knocking my ear at some point, it was legal.

“The referee is there, whatever call he makes, it’s the call. I apologize. I hope Iuri is doing absolutely well because this game is so dangerous. All that matters to me is that everyone here is sincerely safe and can return home with their family when finished. I’m praying for Iuri right now. “

Alvarez’s only victory in the promotion was a submission against former champion Eduard Folayang in August 2019.

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