Turkish grappler Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev is coming off the biggest win of his young mixed martial arts career when he stunned top lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin via first round knockout.
That victory likely earned him a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, and now he is among the top eight lightweight stars in the promotion with a chance to earn a world title shot.
Of course, he will first need to come out of the tournament victorious, and his first test will be none other than Malaysian-Kiwi former ONE Lightweight World Championship challenger Ev “E.T.” Ting at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS on Friday, 22 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Now, the 24-year old has the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him, and he says he will not waste it.
Speaking to ONE Championship, “Dagi” made it clear that he is coming for the title.
“My goal is a World Title. I’ve always said that, so if this fight brings me one step closer to my goal, I am excited,” he said.
Arslanaliev believes that this spot in the tournament is a result of the top brass in ONE Championship taking notice of his accomplishments.
A win over Ting, he says, will further solidify his case as a top contender in the division.
“I am trying to do everything I can, ONE Championship bosses can see it, so this fight will see me show once again that I am a worthy candidate for a title fight,” said Arslanaliev.
A grappler by trade, Arslanaliev has shown that he has power in his hands, and believes that he can give Ting a good test wherever the bout goes.
“Ev Ting is a good opponent. He is a well-rounded fighter, so I am ready to face him both in stand-up and on the ground.”
“I haven’t noted any weaknesses in his game – the day of the fight will show it all,” he added.
Looking at the other half of the bracket, waiting for the winner of the Arslanaliev-Ting matchup will be the winner of another must-see matchup between Amir Khan and Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton.
While “Dagi” definitely isn’t looking past Ting, he shared who he would like to go up against next.
“Amir Khan has a very good name for himself in Asia, but still I would prefer to fight Ariel Sexton. I think he is a stronger fighter, who is likely to beat Khan. I don’t mind fighting either of them, though,” Arslanaliev explained.
Of course, Arlslanaliev will first need to get past Ting before he preoccupies his mind about Khan or Sexton.