Timofey Nastyukhin believes Eddie Alvarez’s head was already in the final of the ONE Championship lightweight grand prix.
Nastyukhin scored the biggest win of his career when he finished Alvarez in the first round of their lightweight grand prix quarterfinal last month at ONE: A New Era. It was a result that shocked many in the MMA world as most expected “The Underground King” to steamroll Nastyukhin.
Reflecting on the fight a couple of weeks later, Nastyukhin believes Alvarez may have been thinking the same.
“It’s simple, the grand prix grid was made for Alvarez,” Nastyukhin told Sherdog in a recent interview. “He’s the star, and he truly deserves this status, so he became everyone’s favorite in the fight.
“However, he was not ready for this fight. He looked past me. His head was already in the final. I was an underdog, and it was not just in the comments on the social networks.”
Taking The Opportunity
Nastyukhin’s stock has risen since that win, and it’s a result of taking a chance that comes very rarely for the Russian.
“I don’t care about my opponent’s reputation,” he added. “I’ve never chosen my opponents. I was glad that it was me who was fighting Alvarez. Such a chance comes very rarely, so I could not turn down this fight.”
For his part, Alvarez congratulated Nastyukhin after the fight and claimed he was trigger shy, which eventually led to his defeat.