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Alvarez-Folayang showdown upgraded into GP semifinal

Eduard Folayang is suddenly into the One Lightweight Grand Prix. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The much-anticipated showdown against Eddie Alvarez and Eduard Folayang now has a higher stake.

One Championship announced on Monday that the co-main event of One: Roots of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 2 has been upgraded into a semifinal of the One Lightweight Grand Prix.

The development took place after Timofey Nastyukhin begged off due to injury, effectively canceling his supposed semifinal against Honorio Banario.

Nastyukhin booked a place in the semifinals after shocking Alvarez, but with the Russian backing out, Alvarez gets another crack in the Grand Prix.

But he has to deal with the equally tough Folayang and the raucous Filipino crowd that will rally around him.

The winner of the said match will fight Saygid Arslanaliev in the final.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno