Timofey Nastyukhin Is Back In Full Training, Wants The ONE Title
Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin made a big statement last year, when he scored a TKO win over former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix at ONE: New Era.
In an interview with BJPenn.com, Nastyukhin narrated how the win over Alvarez helped him grow his mixed martial arts fan base.
“I knew I could beat him,” Nastyukhin said. “Eddie is a worldwide star, so this fight got me big exposure and it was kind of an upset for fans who did not know who I am. I got some new fans after it and became more recognisable.
“My win proved [the] level of ONE fighters,” Nastyukhin proudly declared.
Unfortunately, Nastyukhin hasn’t competed since, after suffering an injury to his knee, which forced him out of the Grand Prix.
“I tore my ACL two weeks before [the] semifinal and that was a heartbreaking experience,” Nastyukhin revealed.
After over six months on the sidelines, Nastyukhin is now back in training and looking forward to getting back inside the ONE Circle.
“I have already spent one month at Tiger Muay Thai and tested my knee under heavy training, and it is one hundred percent ready, I am ready to fight. I can fight in March or April. I’m waiting for a fight offer.
“It is up to matchmakers of the league [who I face], I can fight anyone who gets me closer to the title, any of the top athletes in ONE Championship. I think I can get title shot with one or two wins, depending on my performances.”
Should he earn a shot at the title, he’ll have to get past the current ONE lightweight champion, Christian Lee. Who the Russian has the utmost respect for.
“Christian Lee is a prodigy of MMA. He is a rapidly developing athlete and a well-rounded fighter. It would be nice to meet him some day.”
While the ultimate goal is to win the ONE lightweight title, Nastyukhin said he was open to giving Alvarez a rematch. Particularly if the title is on the line.
“If it will be a title fight, I think this fight will make sense for both of us,” Nastyukhin said of Alvarez.
Whoever Nastyukhin faces on his return, the 30 year old is just excited to get back inside the ONE Circle against the best guys in his division.
“I am excited for my return to the ONE cage and for new spectacular fights with strong opposition. The ONE title is my ultimate goal and I’m focused on it this year.
Who would you like to see Timofey Nastyukhin face in his return?