Russian powerhouse Timofey Nastyukhin is on an absolute tear, and is fast approaching a shot at the ONE World Title. A win over his next opponent should solidify his spot atop the ONE Championship lightweight rankings, and the 30-year-old star is extra motivated to put together a spectacular performance.
Fourth-ranked Nastyukhin will take on the third-ranked Pieter “The Archangel” Buist of The Netherlands at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event in Singapore, scheduled for air this Friday, 6 November.
Nastyukhin feels that a win over Buist should put him next in line to face reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion, Christian “The Warrior” Lee.
“I think whoever wins this fight should be the number one contender, for sure. The winner should fight the champion,” said Nastyukhin.
“I have been healthy and ready to fight since January, but because of everything that has been going on, I understand how hard it was to put fights together. Now I’m just happy to get back in action.”
Nastyukhin is a winner of three of his last four bouts, with thorough performances against top-rated veterans Koji Ando and Amir Khan. In March of 2019, Nastyukhin tallied the biggest win of his professional career, a first-round annihilation of former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez.
The win over Alvarez introduced Nastyukhin to the world, particularly fans in the United States who had never heard of him before. That alone should qualify him for a title shot, according to Nastyukhin.
His only loss in the last three years has been to the number two ranked lightweight, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, a fight in which he suffered a first-round stoppage. But Nastyukhin says he’s willing to face anyone in his way to a title shot, including a rematch with Arslanaliev.
“Alvarez is a highly-decorated martial artist. He’s very experienced and well known across the world. I was happy to get the win over him, but now I am looking towards a world title shot. I deserve it,” said Nastyukhin.
“My ultimate goal is to claim the ONE Championship belt. If a fight with Arslanaliev is going to get me there, so be it.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore scheduled for air this Friday night, 6 November.
In the main event, reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov of Kyrgyzstan makes the first defense of his world title against undefeated top contender James Nakashima of the United States.
Nastyukhin has done his due diligence, studying tape of Buist, particularly his bout against former lightweight king Eduard Folayang. With the information he has downloaded into his mind, Nastyukhin has put together a well-thought game plan ahead of what he believes is a bout for number one contendership.
The 30-year-old Russian knockout artist is excited to claim victory in a big way, and perhaps make a statement to top ONE brass that he’s ready to fight for gold.
“My opponent is a good striker. He can fight from distance with his good kicks, knees, and good timing. His fight against Folayang was close, but his strategy worked. Buist managed the fight very well and got the victory,” said Nastyukhin
“For this fight, I really studied my opponent and worked with a lot of tall sparring partners. Because flights have been difficult internationally, I spent this training camp working with the wrestlers in Dagestan.”