THE stakes just got a lot bigger for Eduard Folayang and Eddie Alvarez as their August 2 showdown at ONE: Dawn of Heroes at Mall of Asia Arena will now serve as a semifinal match in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix.
ONE Championship announced the development after Timofey Nastyukhin suffered a knee injury that forced him out of the tournament.
The winner of the clash between the two-time ONE lightweight champ Folayang and former UFC lightweight title-holder Alvarez will now meet Turkish fighter Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the Lightweight Grand Prix Finals in Tokyo at ONE: Century in October.
Meanwhile, Honorio Banario will remain on the card but will now meet Korean Dae Sung Park.
Banario was originally the replacement for Lowen Tynanes in the Lightweight Grand Prix semifinals, but Nastyukhin's injury forced the top brass to scrap the fight altogether.