On September 22, 2018, Timofey Nastyukhin, 28, of Russia will compete in the lightweight division against Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, 23, of Turkey at “ONE: Conquest of Heroes” at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. Recently, the Russian contender shared why he getting motivated is not necessary for him.
“I do not need to look for motivation to continue working towards my dreams of winning ONE Championship gold,” Nastyukhin declared. “Martial arts has been my life since I was a kid. Now it is also my profession.”
“Motivated or not, an accountant or a bus driver goes to work,” the Russian mixed martial artist continued. “I am no different.”
Nastyukhin is no stranger to overcoming adversity. With a six-second knockout victory over Rob “Warrior of God” Lisita, 36, of Australia on May 27, 2016, the Russian fighter bounced back from his first ONE Championship loss, a loss to Herbert “The Blaze” Burns, 30, of Brazil on September 27, 2015.
On November 11, 2016, Nastyukhin challenged then ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku, 41, of Japan at “ONE: Defending Honor.” But things took a turn for the worse for the Russian Top Team product.
After firing off a low kick that landed on Boku’s front leg, Nastyukhin’s right shin snapped. While he was able to power through the injury and finish the first round, it was clear that the Russian contender would not be able to continue, giving his Japanese opponent the technical knockout victory.
Aside from the loss, Nastyukhin left the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over him and his MMA career. Knowing the extent of the injury made it even more impressive that he managed to get through the opening round.
“That fateful night nearly cost me my career,” Nastyukhin recalled. “They carried me out of the building on a stretcher, and brought me to the hospital where I heard the diagnosis, a broken tibia.”
“Many people admired my perseverance in that match and they cannot believe I finished the round,” Nastyukhin remembered. Aside from the physical toils of an injury, he also had to deal with the mental anguish that comes with it.
“The belt has always been my goal,” the Russian MMA fighter stated. “I am not here to just make up numbers on the roster but right after the match, I had all sort of negative thoughts and doubts.”
Here is a clip featuring Nastyukhin: