And ultimately, their rematch at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS yielded a similar result.
The Turkish star earned another win over his rival, this time by third-round TKO at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 3 December.
As expected, both men went straight to battle after the opening bell. Fifth-ranked contender Nastyukhin swung hooks like he was churning butter, and Arslanaliev tried to counter, but when he did, the Russian caught him with a left that put him on the canvas.
Third-ranked Arslanaliev rebounded, shot for a single-leg takedown, and scooped Nastyukhin to the floor. The Russian got back to his feet, but he got hit with a knee to the groin, spurring referee Justin Brown to call a time-out.
When the action resumed, both men swung frantically. In the chaos, the Turkish juggernaut grabbed Nastyukhin’s head and drove a knee into his face, and the damage it caused forced another halt to the contest. The doctor inspected the Russian and gave the nod of approval for the bout to continue.
In round two, Arslanaliev stunned Nastyukhin with a boxing combination that backed him into the Circle Wall. The Raty representative tried to fight his way off, but the Turk kept the pressure on him and scored a takedown.
From there, Arslanaliev dropped elbows and hammerfists onto Nastyukhin’s face. Once again, the referee called a time-out in order for the doctor to assess the damage. The bout then continued, to everyone’s excitement, and the duo restarted.
Nastyukhin got up and swung fiercely, determined to show he was still in the fight. But Arslanaliev executed a belly-to-back suplex that rattled the Russian – as well as the Circle around him.
The Novokuznetsk native, pinned against the Circle Wall and floor, gasped. His mouthpiece fell out, and the referee waited for the chance to put it back in. When he did, Nastyukhin sprung to life. He rose quickly and with purpose, but Arslanaliev connected with a hard right hand to end the round.
At the start of the final canto, Nastyukhin rushed forward behind one eye. Arslanaliev slammed a left hook into his chin, stopping him in his tracks as he teetered forward and backward, left and right.
Arslanaliev then fired off a devastating right hand, which dropped Nastyukhin to the mat. The Turk jumped on his opponent with a few more punches to seal the deal, and the referee waved off the bout at the 49-second mark of the third round.
The win pushed Arslanaliev’s record to 9-2, and he may have earned him another shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title, currently held by Ok Rae Yoon.