Eduard Folayang explained that he had his eyes riveted on decorated champion Eddie Alvarez, one of the biggest names in combat sports.
Alvarez, former UFC lightweight champion and Bellator, has signed with ONE Championship three months ago.
"I'm thinking of Eddie Alvarez," Folayang said. "He is a world champion several times and I want to compete with him. It's the fight of my dreams. "
Folayang, twice lighter champion, has little to prove, but he still wants a tough challenge.
But there are many moving elements that should be put in place before Folayang organizes a confrontation with Alvarez.
Alvarez, 35, will make his ONE debut in the World Lightweight Grand Prix, which starts Jan. 25 in Manila.
The Grand Prix will feature the eight best lightweights with the winner defying the champion.
Folayang is the current king of lightweights, but his title defense is scheduled in a rematch against Japanese legend Shinya Aoki on March 31 in Japan.
Beating again Aoki will then oppose Folayang to whoever wins the Grand Prix, which many think is Alvarez.
Folayang, 34, has three leading fighters who have the advantage over the Grand Prix.
"Eddie Alvarez, Lowen Tynanes and Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev are probably the top three favorites to win the tournament," he said.
"In terms of experience, Alvarez has the biggest advantage. Youth is on the side of Tynanes and Dagi.
But nothing is guaranteed.
As good as Alvarez is in his job, it only takes one blow or one wrong move to make the difference between winning and losing.
"The ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix is a great test to find out who is the champion's worthy challenger. Each competitor has his own style and talent. Only the best will come out of this tournament, "said Folayang.
Folayang also has an ideal scenario in the lead with his Team Lakay teammate, Honorio Banario, who also participates in the Grand Prix.
"Honorio Banario also aims to win the Grand Prix," he said. "I'm not thinking about fighting against my teammate, but the idea that he is the tournament champion and me the lightweight champion is the best possible scenario for our team."
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