The undefeated American star will return to action in a lightweight clash against Marat “Cobra” Gafurov at ONE: COLLISION COURSE this Friday, 18 December, and he simply can’t wait to step back inside the Circle.
“I’m excited to compete again. I just thank the Lord that I’ve been given another opportunity,” Tynanes says ahead of his battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The 30-year-old from Honolulu, Hawaii, has dealt with injury setbacks for most of his career. However, it appeared those struggles were in the past when he returned from a three-year layoff in January 2019 and defeated Honorio “The Rock” Banario in the opening round of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Tynanes was slated to face Timofey Nastyukhin in the next round, but injury struck again. This time, though, the American was committed to getting to the bottom of it.
“Throughout the years, I was having some back issues, and over the past year and a half, I discovered that I have an autoimmune disease called spondyloarthritis,” he says.
“It is chronic inflammation to your joints. We figured out that that was the underlying cause of my back issues, and it progressed to my shoulder and even in my feet.
“I went to see so many different doctors and tried different diets — everything you can think of — but the best thing was a nutritionist. I had a full blood test and now I’m eating for my body type. It’s been night and day since I started that six months ago.
“There used to be days when it was a struggle to even get out of bed because the pain was intolerable, but the symptoms just dropped. Today, I feel refreshed, no inflammation, pretty much injury-free and able to compete again.”
After nearly losing his career, the 10-0 Hawaiian is more determined than ever to achieve his lifelong dream.
“Like any injury for anybody, it’s a speed bump, and you have to overcome the adversity and keep fighting through. There’s no end, there’s no stopping, so you just gotta step on the gas and keep moving,” he says.
“I’m excited and I’m hungry. If you’re in this sport and you don’t want the title, then you’re in the wrong sport. I definitely want the gold, that is the ultimate goal.”
- 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss ONE: COLLISION COURSE
- Rodlek Warns Nong-O: ‘I May Have Something Special For You!’
- Nong-O Excited To Defend Belt Against Fresh Challenger Rodlek
But while Tynanes has been given another chance to fulfill his massive potential, the path to the top won’t be easy – and it begins with a former ONE Featherweight World Champion in Gafurov.
“Cobra” is one of the most dominant grapplers in ONE Championship history, and he was unstoppable in the featherweight division from 2014-16.
The Dagestani superstar is now eyeing the biggest prize in the lightweight division, but Tynanes has other plans.
“I’ve got a tough Russian opponent,” the American says. “He’s a former champ, and the guy is well-rounded, so I know he’s going to bring it. All I can do is prepare and focus on the task at hand.”
Tynanes has already fought through a serious illness, gone through a grueling fight camp, and endured a tough 2020 in the COVID-19 world. With event day almost here, he doesn’t want those efforts to be wasted.
“Every fight I enter is a must-win. I don’t like losing. Losing sucks,” he says.
“You don’t want to do a full six-to-eight week camp, fly across the world, quarantine, and go through all these medicals and interviews to then lose. I don’t plan on losing at all. I will do everything and anything in my power to come out victorious.”
Still, the Elite MMA Hawaii product reiterates that his opponent will present big challenges. Gafurov’s resume speaks for itself, and he’s competed against some of the most talented athletes on the ONE roster.
“Like I said, he’s a former World Champion, so he knows what it feels like to be at the top and he knows what it feels like to have gold. I’m sure he wants it again,” Tynanes says.
“I’ve seen him fight a bunch of times and the guy’s a gamer, so I’m prepared for it all. Every opponent is dangerous and anything can happen at any given moment, so all I do is prepare for the worst situations, work on my weaknesses, work on my strengths, and try to exploit his weaknesses.”
While he does not want to get caught up in predictions, Tynanes is confident that he’ll remind the global fan base why he’s been such a highly touted star for so long – and prime himself for a stellar 2021 in the process.
“Marat is well-rounded. I’m well rounded, so who knows what will happen? Nobody knows. Anyone can predict and assume, but we won’t know until the day comes,” he says.
“Personally, I think my work ethic and my heart [will give me the advantage]. I’ll never give up. I want to show the fans that I’m still here. I’ve been gone for a little while, dealing with some personal life issues. But I’m back.
“They can expect fireworks like always, explosive pressure nonstop. I have not changed. I’m still the same guy.”