Buist Vows To Finish Uulu: ‘This Fight Won’t Last A Full Round’

Russian MMA star Timofey Nastyukhin fights Dutch kickboxing Pieter Buist at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II in Singapore

Pieter “The Archangel” Buist is certain that adversity has made him stronger and has pushed him to new levels. 

The Dutchman has recovered from his first ONE Championship defeat and feels better than ever ahead of his lightweight mixed martial arts showdown against Ruslan “Snow Leopard” Emilbek Uulu at ONE: NEXTGEN III, which airs on Friday, 26 November. 

“At first, I saw the loss as a bad thing, but now I see the loss as one of the best lessons in my life,” he says. 

“I’m more hungry. I’m not complaining about anything. I’m thankful for everything. I truly believe that I’m blessed to be here.”

Buist, who was previously the #3-ranked lightweight contender, had brought a tremendous amount of momentum into his matchup with Timofey Nastyukhin last year.

However, the Russian powerhouse used his well-rounded skill set to earn the unanimous decision nod and snap the Dutchman’s eight-fight winning streak.

When reflecting on his preparation for his bout with Nastyukhin, one that would have earned him a World Title shot had he won, the Combat Brothers representative feels like he may have been too comfortable with his success.

Also, he was too distracted by issues in his personal life at the time.

“I just came off a win against Eduard Folayang. Maybe I was getting too used to the situation and the lifestyle,” Buist explains.

“It was a bad time for me. The day I flew to Singapore, I had to take my girlfriend to the hospital first because they found a cancer spot in her body. Plus, there was the lockdown and everything, so my mindset was really not there. It wasn’t me – you could see it in the fight, I couldn’t pull the trigger.”

Russian MMA star Timofey Nastyukhin fights Dutch kickboxing Pieter Buist at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II in Singapore

Thankfully, his partner got the help she needed at the right time to make a swift recovery, and this, coupled with suffering his first defeat, served as a catalyst for him to view his life through a fresh lens.

“When my girlfriend and I heard the bad news that they found something in her body, I felt down. I was almost giving up on everything,” he says.

“I was like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But now, we’re happier. She’s healthy, my kids are healthy, my team, my friends, everybody’s healthy. I appreciate that because of the loss. I appreciate everything that I have.

“It was a mental thing that I had never had to confront in my fighting career. There’s a first time for everything. I [hired] a mental coach, and I worked a lot on my mental state because that was the only weakness in my game. I feel great now. I feel ready. I feel happy. I’m in a good state mentally and physically.”

Buist was dangerous before, but now, he believes his opponents need to be even more aware of the threat that he brings to the Circle.

His mind and body are at their peak, and he has more drive than ever to push toward the top of the lightweight rankings. But to do that, “The Archangel” must make a statement against Uulu – who is moving up from the featherweight division to compete in his more natural weight class.

“This fight is very important for me. I think it’s a way for me to get back in the top five because I still believe I should be [there]. So, I have to show them that they made a big mistake taking me out,” the Dutchman says.

“Now, I feel awesome. I know I’m the best fighter that ONE has to offer in my division. I really believe that. The only thing I have to do is show it and enjoy the moment – not be busy with what’s coming next or what happened in the past.”

The 33-year-old acknowledges that his upcoming rival is a tough adversary. However, his confidence is soaring and he does not see a way that “Snow Leopard” can hang with him in Singapore.

“He’s a striker, like me, but everybody knows that I’m the best striker. I think he will try to wrestle me, but I wrestle with the best fighters in the world,” Buist says.

“The only thing I have to do is to focus on myself. Ruslan can have four arms, six legs – he can have everything he wants – but I’m better. I only have to show that on that day.”

Buist wants to put the division on notice with an emphatic finish in his return to action and show that the comeback will be bigger than the setback.

While he does not want to pick his shot, “The Archangel” is confident that he can take his man out inside the distance to re-establish himself as one of the top contenders for ONE Lightweight World Champion Ok Rae Yoon‘s belt.

“I know that everybody is afraid in my division, and I will show on Friday why they are afraid,” the Breda native says.

“I don’t care [how it ends]. I’m here to show that I’m the best, that’s the only thing, but this fight won’t last a full round. This fight [ends in] the first or second round. Submission, KO, or he gives up.”

Pieter Buist Vs. Ruslan Emilbek Uulu goes down at ONE: NEXTGEN III

Read more: How To Watch ONE: NEXTGEN III on 26 November

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