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Buist On Nastyukhin Clash: ‘Someone Is Going Down, But Not Me’

Pieter “The Archangel” Buist could earn a shot at ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee by winning an epic battle against Russian slugger Timofey Nastyukhin.

Nastyukhin is famous for his spectacular KOs – not least his first-round destruction of “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez – but Buist has won eight straight fights of his own with six finishes.

That makes the Dutchman confident that his incredible run will continue with a highlight-reel moment at the previously recorded ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II this Friday, 6 November.

“Trust me, someone is going down, but not me,” Buist says.

“The Archangel” has good reasons for optimism.

ONE Championship’s #3-ranked lightweight contender is coming off the defining win of his career so far – a hard-earned decision victory on just two weeks’ notice against former lightweight king Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, giving him a flawless 3-0 record in the promotion.

Buist’s impressive run was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not stop the hard-hitter from putting in work with new ONE Middleweight World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder and the rest of his team in the Combat Brothers gym bubble.

In fact, with a few tweaks to his routine, Buist feels more prepared than at any other time during his ONE career.

“I don’t have a reason to stand still and do nothing, and I don’t like to do nothing,” he says of the long layoff.

“It gave me the time to improve some things in my arsenal, so it was a good thing for me. Also, the rest was good because especially in the [Antonio] Caruso fight, I was overtrained and I was sick.

“With [Kota] Shimoishi, I was overtrained, too, because I was training too much, and when I was tired, I said, ‘Shut up and go!’ But this training camp was more about smart training – not always heavy, not always hard, and I feel much better in my body and in my head.”

“The Archangel” will have to be in top form because his next assignment is to take out arguably the most explosive finisher in the lightweight division.

After debuting in ONE with a stunning flying-knee KO of Folayang, the #4-ranked Nastyukhin has continued to drop jaws with the fastest knockout in promotional history over “Ruthless” Rob Lisita and a shocking stoppage of Alvarez.

However, the Russian’s power does not faze Buist. The Dutchman respects the danger his opponent brings to the Circle, but he is an experienced striker and believes his strategy will carry him to victory.

“I’m a technical fighter, so I always keep it technical and business-like,” Buist says.

“The mistake people make with Timofey is to stay in the pocket and bang with him. He’s not a big guy, so he always has the advantage – you saw it with Eddie Alvarez. Timofey likes it when he can swing and bang.

“[In Nastyukhin’s loss to Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev], they were swinging, but then he put him against the cage, pulled his leg up, and finished him, so for me, it’s really important to keep my distance. When he comes in, [I can] knee and clinch, and my ground game is much better than his, too.”

Given the incredible knockout power on both sides, Buist expects this showdown to be a treat for fans of striking. At the same time, he won’t rule out a tussle on the canvas.

“I always seize the moment. We’ll go where it has to go and I’ll make the best of the situation,” the Dutchman says.

“People always underestimate my ground game, but if you look at my ground game, I’ve got more submissions than KOs. I roll with the best guys in the world and if he wants to go to the ground, we’ll go to the ground.

“If he wants to strike, we’ll strike. I’ll leave it in the hands of God. I’ve trained my [butt] off, so I’m prepared in every aspect of the fighting game.”

One thing Buist is certain of is that Nastyukhin is willing to engage in an all-out war. But even as he prepares to face an onslaught for 15 minutes, “The Archangel” maintains that his style will suit that type of battle just fine.

“I know Timofey is not a guy who does nothing. He will come when the bell rings, but I think he will hesitate at the beginning,” the Dutchman says.

“By now, I think everyone knows my striking, and he will think twice about flying in and banging with me. Trust me, I have more than 100 kickboxing fights around the world, and everybody knows that Dutch fighters are known for superior striking.

“He knows that, and I know that he knows that, so I think he will wrestle me. But if he wants to strike, we will strike – no problem.”

Read more: What’s At Stake For Every Athlete At ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II