Timofey Nastyukhin has battled valiantly for his shot at ONE Championship glory. Now, he will finally get that chance to contend for the ultimate prize.
Nastyukhin is set to challenge ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee at “ONE on TNT II,” which airs this Thursday, 15 April, on the ONE Super App and ONE Championship’s YouTube channel at 8:30 a.m. SGT.
“My time has come to fight for the belt, and it gives me even more motivation and confidence. With God’s will, I’ll be able to win it,” Nastyukhin said of the World Title clash.
Standing across from him will be one of the organization’s most dominant athletes. Since becoming the youngest male Mixed Martial Arts World Champion in history, Lee has defended his belt twice against the division’s best.
“He’s a very young and explosive opponent. He’s very ambitious. I have a lot of respect for him,” Nastyukhin said.
“He’s a universal athlete. His unpredictability and speed in striking can be dangerous. He can be dangerous in wrestling and he has good control [on the ground], so he can be dangerous in all aspects, basically. The same as me.
“That’s why we specifically train to face him. We have studied him. We’re going through his work and doing everything to minimize this risk.”
And, of course, maximize the reward.
However, Nastyukhin can only earn the coveted belt if he overcomes his odds against the World Champion.
“I’m used to fighting as an underdog, my whole career is built on this. When there’s a big challenge in front of me — when there’s a champion in front of me or someone with better ratings — it actually motivates me more and lights a fire under me,” the Russian said.
Nastyukhin has used that fire to stay motivated throughout his fight camp. Now, he is aiming for the ultimate finish.
“I’ll be preparing for all five rounds, but based on our fights, we are both pretty strong punchers, so this fight might end in any round,” the challengrer said.
“Of course, we want to finish the fight in the first round – and to finish it with a spectacular knockout in my style.”
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