Timofey Nastyukhin has his sights firmly set on becoming a world champion. Specifically, the ONE Featherweight World Champion.
The Russian featherweight contender will meet Kotetsu “No Face” Boku at ONE: DEFENDING HONOR on Friday Night, 11 November, live at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. And he believes a victory will bring him one step closer to a title shot.
In Boku, he is fighting the former ONE Lightweight World Champion. The Tokyo, Japan, resident is a kickboxing specialist and freestyle fighter who holds a respectable 24-11-2 record. But ever since he dropped down to featherweight, he has re-created himself and has won three of his last four outings.
To the Russian, that makes this contest even more critical.
“In my opinion, every win is very important to get closer to the title,” the 26-year-old says. “I hope if I show decent performance and finish my opponent, then I will get a title shot.
“My opponent and I are both strikers, so I see this fight remaining on the feet in striking exchanges, and that will give fans an exciting, spectacular show.”
The finish was so impressive, it gained international attention in the weeks and months following the bout. It even tied the record for fastest knockout in ONE Championship history.
As far as the response Nastyukhin heard personally, he said little has changed as he continues to take the memorable victory in stride. He sees it as just one more entry in his win column.
In fact, the fight that was the most memorable of the young Russian’s career was his promotional debut at ONE: WARRIOR’S WAY back in December 2014, when he took on Eduard “Landslide” Folayang. Coincidentally, Folayang battles the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Shinya Aoki, in the main event of DEFENDING HONOR.
“My fight with Folayang is memorable because it was my first fight in a world-class promotion and I was a big underdog in the fight,” Nastyukhin recalls. “After that win, MMA fans knew who I was. That fight was a big statement.”
Nastyukhin, a former FILA Pankration Champion, owns a 10-2 record with all of his victories coming by way of stoppage. The origins of his exciting style and warrior mindset came in his formative years while training as a young boy in his homeland of Russia.
“It is just my style of fighting that I have been using since childhood,” he says. “My coach told us to keep aggressive during a fight and press the opponent from the very beginning, and I am happy that fans like the way I do that in the cage.”
The Novokuznetsk resident is proud to represent Russia Top Team, as well as work in cooperation with a new team that he was invited to train with, the Alexander Nevsky Sports Club. The club has a number of exciting young fighters on the roster with bright futures, and Nastyukhin plans to be a central figure on the team for years to come.
“Russia Top Team are my managers, but I now also represent Alexander Nevsky Sports Club from Omsk City,” the featherweight says. “I hope it will be a good cooperation in the future and I do everything in my power to glorify this team. I did my training camp there and I am working very hard on my conditioning and improving my skills.”
If all goes well, that constant improvement should go a long way in helping Nastyukhin achieve his dreams of becoming a global icon.
“I do not have any Idols in the sport,” he says resolutely. “But I grew up watching Fedor Emelianenko’s fights and I want to reach his level in MMA.”
For Nastyukhin to reach legendary heights, to the level of “The Last Emperor,” he needs to keep on racking up wins in impression fashion. His fight with Boku will be a good next step towards that goal, and he guarantees a thrilling contest.
“I just want to say thanks to all my fans,” the Russian says. “I appreciate all the support from them and will do my best to put on a good fight for you guys.”