Top lightweight contenders Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev may be stepping into the Circle to try and knock each other out tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean they can’t agree on certain things.
After witnessing South Korean star Ok Rae Yoon’s upset win over former ONE lightweight world champion Christian ‘The Warrior’ Lee at ONE: Revolution back in September, Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev both think the 23-year-old Singaporean-American superstar did just enough to retain his belt.
Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent faceoff interview, Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev shared their slightly differing thoughts on the controversial matchup.
Timofey Nastyukhin said:
“Of course I watched that fight and for me, my opinion is, Christian Lee won that fight. He was more spectacular and more active in that fight. I’m not sure why the judges gave it to the Korean fighter. I think that it was more like an equal fight than the Korean guy [Ok Rae Yoon] who won that fight."
Lee infamously took the microphone from Mitch Chilson following his controversial loss, looked straight into the camera, and told the world he thought the decision was “bulls**t” and that he got robbed.
Dagi Arslanaliev said he understood where the young star was coming from. And while he thought Lee had done enough to win, he thinks the Singaporean-American could have done more to establish his dominance.
“I think the reason why he wasn’t happy and saying that it was bull***t is because he thought that he got the clear advantage. He really won that fight but the result was different. By looking at the fight, Ok Rae Yoon wasn’t the worst. In my opinion, it was kind of equal. Christian Lee was punching him and Ok was doing whatever strategy and work he had against Christian Lee but as a champion, he should dominate more than he did that night, that’s my opinion,” Dagi Arslanaliev said.
Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev both looking to rematch Lee
Timofey Nastyukhin, the division’s No. 5-ranked contender will battle Dagi Arslanaliev, the division’s No. 3-ranked contender in an epic rematch at ONE: Winter Warriors, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, December 3.
Lee defeated Dagi Arslanaliev via unanimous decision in 2019 when he stepped in for former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez on short notice to face the Dagestani knockout artist in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final.
Meanwhile, ‘The Warrior’ took care of business against Timofey Nastyukhin just last April, stopping the hard-hitting Russian in the first round with strikes.
Whoever wins between Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev this Friday night will no doubt want another crack at Lee or even a shot at newly-crowned champion Ok Rae Yoon. But first, they have to get past each other in a pivotal lightweight clash, and one of the most anticipated firefights of the year.