The Russian is eager to test himself against the former UFC and Bellator lightweight World Champion at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan this Sunday, 31 March, with progression in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix at stake.
Though both men are well-rounded martial artists, these lightweight heavy-hitters are almost certain to rely on their powerful striking arsenals to advance in the tournament.
Assuming this match-up stays standing, look out for these key weapons each man is likely to use as they go in search of a highlight-reel knockout.
The Russian juggernaut is fearless and his main focus is to attack.
Nastyukhin likes to move forward and maintain relentless pressure from the opening bell – always on the lookout for a chance to land his overhand right and left hook.
Alvarez is not always the fastest starter, and though he usually has the guile to survive any dangerous situations and work his way into a contest, if his 28-year-old opponent from Novokuznetsk can tag him early, he will step on the gas and push for a finish.
Alvarez’s Multi-Level Offense
Alvarez is a great boxer, and he likes to mix up his punches to his rivals’ head and body, which benefits him for both striking and wrestling.
The 35-year-old loves to dip and launch a straight right to the body. That can put him in the perfect position to shoot forward to hit a double-leg takedown, but if he is in the mood to stand and bang, he is far more likely to go back up top with a left hook to the head.
If his opponent has lowered their guard to go into takedown defense mode, or simply protect their midsection from further damage, he will have a free hit that could do major damage.
Nastyukhin’s Show-Stopping Left Hook
Nastyukhin has bout-ending power in every shot, mostly because of his full commitment to every strike. However, there is one punch, in particular, that has a proven track record for success.
If the Tiger Muay Thai representative lands his left hook, he could get the job done there and then.
One of his secrets to landing the hook is his set-up with his right hand. If his opponent tries to avoid it by circling away from his power, they may move straight into danger.
Alvarez’s Lightning Right
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“The Underground King” uses lateral movement to evade his opponents’ power and stop them from planting their feet, but it also sets him up to unleash one of his most effective attacks.
As his rivals try to adjust to close him down, the Philadelphian can use a quick change of pace and direction to dart straight forward with a lunging right hand.
It can work to give Alvarez breathing space by breaking an athlete’s rhythm. As they pause their attack, the American can reset and plan his next attack.
He can also use it to launch an offensive salvo that could change the course of a contest. If it lands on the button, then a match can end then and there, but it can also be the first shot in a combination that would put an opponent in a world of trouble.