No. 3-ranked ONE Championship lightweight Dagi Arslanaliev has gold on his mind heading into his next matchup. The dangerous 27-year-old from Dagestan believes that if he beats his next opponent, he will earn the right to compete for the ONE lightweight world title.
Dagi Arslanaliev is scheduled to meet fellow Russian, No. 5-ranked lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE: Winter Warriors, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, December 3.
The bout will be a rematch following their first encounter, which took place in September 2018, where Dagi Arslanaliev made quick work of Nastyukhin, scoring a scintillating first-round knockout.
Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent interview at the ONE: Winter Warriors media day, Dagi Arslanaliev revealed his three-step plan which includes beating Nastyukhin, challenging Ok Rae Yoon for the ONE lightweight world title, and avenging arguably his only legitimate loss to former lightweight king Christian ‘The Warrior’ Lee. His only other loss was a DQ to Georgi Stoyanov in 2017.
“With the will of God, hopefully after I win this fight, after I finish this fight then definitely [I want Christian Lee]. The winner of this fight is supposed to be the contender for the next fight against Ok Rae Yoon,” said Dagi Arslanaliev.
“Previously, I had the feeling that I had to fight Christian Lee. I have that burst in my blood but then I calmed down and I understood the situation. I’m like, okay, we need to follow the strategy and go step by step. In the future, after I get the fight with the champion, definitely, I would like to fight with Christian Lee and finish what I have to finish last time.”
Dagi Arslanaliev is eager to run it back with Christian Lee
Dagi Arslanaliev was last seen in action in October 2019, losing a unanimous decision to Lee in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final. Lee stepped in at the last minute to replace former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez, who had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury.
The loss still lingers in Dagi Arslanaliev’s mind, therefore, he is hell-bent on getting another chance to compete against Lee. Regardless, the Turkish fighter from Dagestan needs to get past Nastyukhin first, who seems determined to avenge his debilitating loss.
The path is clear for Dagi Arslanaliev. Three consecutive victories separate him from god-tier status in ONE Championship’s lightweight division. Can he pull it off?
ONE: Winter Warriors goes down this Friday night, December 3, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In the main event, ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel defends his belt against Russian sensation Islam Murtazaev.