As the saying goes, the rising tide lifts all ships.
It’s a mantra that ONE lightweight athlete Timofey Nastyukhin wholeheartedly subscribes to as he prepares for the biggest test of his career against Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo.
A multiple-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion, the American is one of the biggest signings in the burgeoning Asia-based ONE Championship’s promotional history. Alvarez will be making his debut against Nastyukhin in front of what is sure to be a sold-out crowd at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena on March 31.
The two square off in the quarter-final round of the highly-anticipated ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
The Russian is under no illusions as to the enormity of the challenge that awaits him, but he’s primed and ready to rise to the occasion with what he promises will be the best performance of his career to date.
“I am really, really excited for this fight,” Nastyukhin said.
“I’m surrounded by a lot of positivity in my corner right now and the hard work feels great.”
The 29-year-old has a fan-friendly style of combat – constantly pressuring, refusing to take a backward step, and throwing each and every strike with the worst of intentions.
In fact, it’s an approach that essentially mirrors that of his upcoming opponent. Alvarez has forged his reputation on his never-say-die attitude inside the cage, where he’s always willing to stand toe-to-toe and trade shots.
Nastyukhin is well aware of the similarities between them and is eager to test his power against one of the planet’s most renowned hard-hitters. It’s an equation that promises fireworks come fight night.
“It’s going to be a war and fans can expect fireworks. I’ll never back down from him,” declared Nastyukhin.
The enormous anticipation and investment in Alvarez’s debut combined with the intrigue of ONE’s debut event in Japan means there will be plenty of eyeballs on Nastyukhin.
It will provide the ideal opportunity for him to prove his title credentials and, quite possibly, steal the show in The Land of the Rising Sun.
Despite his next opponent’s immense following, Nastyukhin remains unfazed and completely confident of victory heading into the bout.
“He has all the experience, but it’s my time now,” Nastyukhin concluded.