Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez will not have an easy ride in his ONE Championship debut.
The Russian is a renowned finisher with a variety of striking weapons that can leave opponents supine and stiff on the canvas.
Though Alvarez will be the favorite in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix quarter-final match in the minds of many fans around the world, it would be crazy to underestimate his opponent at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
His best performances in The Home Of Martial Arts show us exactly why.
Debut Destruction Of A Future World Champion
Nastyukhin was thrown to the sharks in his ONE debut. Standing on the opposite side of the cage from him in December 2014 was Eduard “Landslide” Folayang – a more experienced veteran who would go on to win the ONE Lightweight World Title twice.
However, the Siberian did not come to the world’s largest martial arts organization for an easy ride, and he was unfazed by the prospect of facing the Filipino hero.
Most of “Landslide’s” attacks were dodged or countered with full force before the stoppage came inside the first round.
It was one of the most spectacular knockouts in ONE history, as Nastyukhin leaped into the air and connected flush with a spectacular flying knee.
A few follow up blows closed the show and announced a new threat in the lightweight division.
The Fastest Knockout In ONE History
The first two wins of Nastyukhin‘s run on the global stage of martial arts maintained his 100 percent finishing rate, but arguably his best was yet to come.
In May 2016, he faced the ultra-durable Rob Lisita, who had never been knocked out in 21 previous contests.
That statistic was consigned to the scrapheap in an instant as the FILA Pankration Champion put his rival down with his first strikes of the match to record the fastest finish in ONE history.
One counter right cross and left hook were all he needed, which should serve as a warning to Alvarez when he goes on the offensive at ONE: A NEW ERA.
A Complete Performance
Though Nastyukhin‘s perfect record of scoring every one of his wins by stoppage is no longer intact, his two victories in bouts that went the distance have still been impressive.
In February last year, the Russian used his high-volume, powerful strikes to outland the Singaporean and keep him on the back foot throughout. He also showed off his takedown skills to mix things up and give the judges another reason to favor him on the scorecards after three rounds.
He might not have ended proceedings early like he would have wanted, but Nastyukhin proved to the world he can rely on more than just raw power. He has many strings to his bow, including the endurance to maintain a relentless attack for as long as a match-up goes.
That will give him every chance of getting his hand raised – even against a competitor as dynamic as Alvarez at ONE: A NEW ERA.