Eddie Alvarez Plans To Beat Timofey Nastyukhin In 'Dominant Fashion'

When Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez joined ONE Championship last October, he made it clear that he was coming for the ONE Lightweight World Title.

To earn that opportunity, the American megastar has to win the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, and his journey to the gold begins on Sunday, 31 March.

He is scheduled to face Timofey Nastyukhin in a quarter-final bout at ONE: A NEW ERA, which emanates from the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

As much as he dreams about wrapping that World Title around his waist, Alvarez refuses to let that distract him from the obstacle currently standing in his way.

“You have short term goals and long term goals,” Alvarez explains.

“Short term is to defeat Timofey Nastyukhin in dominant fashion. The long term goal is to get to that gold belt and be the first fighter in history to have every single belt — all the belts from every major organization around the world.”

In preparation for his highly anticipated promotional debut, the 35-year-old veteran has become obsessed with Nastyukhin.

The moment the brackets for the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix were revealed, Alvarez and his coaches immediately started researching video on the Russian knockout artist.

“I’ve done my homework,” the four-time Lightweight Mixed Martial Arts World Champion says.

“I know all his strengths. I know all his weaknesses. I know the camp he’s from. I know all their strengths and all their weaknesses. I know the coaches who are surrounding him. I’m familiar.”

The American has always performed extensive research on his adversaries, as he believes it is a valuable tool that helps lead him to victory.

In fact, he disagrees with any athlete who claims that there is no benefit to watching video or training footage of their opposition.

“Fighters who say they don’t watch their opponents are either lying or they’re ignorant,” Alvarez explains.

“I think in order to defeat [your opponent] and put yourself in the best position to succeed, you’ve got to know your enemy and you’ve got to know yourself. The more familiar you are with both of those people, the more likely you are to succeed.”

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One mistake “The Underground King” has made in the past is believing that his experience will carry him through a contest.

He learned from that setback and continues to use it as motivation to this very day. That is why Alvarez is spending every waking moment of every single day with his sights firmly set on Nastyukhin.

“I’ve seen fighters get into that [mindset], thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve faced it all, I know it all, it won’t be different,’” he continues.

“Well, everyone is different and every situation is different. The truth is if you think that you’ve experienced it all, and you’re just going to go in there and be successful because of your past experiences, you’re a fool.

“This is a sport where you have to continue to innovate, you have to continue to change, and you’ve got to continue to get better — or else, you’re just slowly dying. What’s in the past should stay in the past, and you’ve got to grow every day in order to succeed.”

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That particular mindset is a big reason Alvarez will not comment too much about the three semi-finalists in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.

“The Underground King” knows if he is victorious against Nastyukhin, then his next opponent will be undefeated Hawaiian grappler Lowen Tynanes.

He has also witnessed the impressive wins from Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton and Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev, both of whom advanced to the semi-final round on the opposite side of the bracket last month.

Alvarez will give all of them his undivided attention after he gets through Nastyukhin at ONE: A NEW ERA.

“I watch everybody’s fights,” the American states.

“I’m not one of those guys [who say], ‘I don’t pay attention.’ No, I pay attention to everyone. I want to see what everyone’s good at. I want to do more than everyone. I want to be better than everyone. I watched them all.

“I’ve got my eye on the future a little bit. But for right now, it’s about one guy.”