The Turkish finishing machine was scheduled to meet Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton in the first semifinal of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix next Friday, 17 May in Singapore, but the Costa Rican was forced to pull out due to a broken arm.
Instead, the 24-year-old will go to battle with hometown hero Amir Khan (11-5) in “The Lion City” in what promises to be an unmissable clash between two of ONE Championship’s brightest young stars.
Turkish superstar Saygid "Dagi" Arslanaliev takes out Ev Ting with a THUNDEROUS TKO just 25 seconds into Round 1 to advance in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, February 22, 2019
Though “Dagi” has less experience than his upcoming opponent – a former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger – there will be no shortage of fans who will back him to get the job done and move on to the tournament final.
The Istanbul resident, who was originally born in Dagestan, has a 100-percent finishing rate, and is coming off a remarkable 25-second knockout of Ev “E.T.” Ting in the quarterfinals.
Ahead of his return to action, Arslanaliev took a break from training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand to give his thoughts on his late change in opponent, and how he plans to get his hand raised.
ONE Championship: Does a change of opponent present any problems for you?
I still want to square off against Sexton [when he is healthy] – I would like to fight in the stand-up with him and test my boxing skills.
ONE: Have you changed your training to prepare specifically for Amir Khan?
SGA: Yes, I will tailor my training now, because each opponent is different.
However, both Sexton and Khan are tall and muscular guys – slightly bigger than me, but that is not a problem. So, training for Khan will be similar in that regard.
ONE: What did you think about the Khan’s quarterfinal clash with Sexton?
SGA: Amir Khan was a tough opponent for Sexton. He is a young and very promising prospect in our division.
He started strong, and I was convinced he was going to beat Sexton. But in the end, experience won over youth. Sexton waited for his chance and went for the kill.
ONE: How do you plan to win this match against Khan?
SGA: All I can say is that I will do my best to show a good fight and give everyone a show to remember.
I can’t control things during the fight – my reactions are automatic. I will use any opportunity, and that means my plan might change.
For example, if I train expecting my opponent will grapple a lot, and then it doesn’t happen, what can I do? I will adapt. I am prepared for any scenario.
ONE: If you can get your hand raised, do you think you will face Lowen Tynanes or Timofey Nastyukhin in the final?
SGA: Tynanes is a dangerous opponent for Timofey, but he has a good chance to win.
I know Timofey is a dangerous fighter, but his decisive win [at ONE: A NEW ERA] was a definite surprise to many people, maybe including himself. He definitely surprised [Eddie] Alvarez.
Nastyukhin packs a very strong punch, it’s his lethal weapon – he used it well against Eddie, his timing was perfect, too, and then he just finished him.
ONE: Would you rather rematch Nastyukhin or face someone new in Tynanes?
SGA: I want to rematch Timofey to prove to everyone that it was not a lucky win for me. I want to prove that I am still a better sportsman than him.
I have nothing personal against the guy. After all, we are all human beings – we just have a very strange job of punching each other.
Let’s see how he does against Tynanes first. The American is not a dummy. I am ready to see them going to war.
Saygid "Dagi" Arslanaliev's turning up the ???? ahead of his ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix showdown against Amir Khan on 17 May!Singapore | 17 May | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, April 30, 2019
ONE: Though you are known as a grappler, most of your wins are by KO – including your last two against Ting and Timofey Nastyukhin. How have you become so dangerous with your hands?
SGA: I am young, strong and supercharged to win – that’s my character.
Also, my upbringing in the mountains of the Caucasus played the part – we all get shaped by our environment, and where I come from, you have to be able to fight and stand up for yourself.
I‘ve never planned to become a KO artist, it came as a surprise to me. I am not complaining. Why get hit in the head if I can avoid it?
My health is more important than fighting, to be honest. I do want to have a long fight just to give the audience a show, but obviously, if the opportunity for a KO is going to be there, I will use it.