After suffering the first and only blemish of his career last year, an unfortunate disqualification loss in January 2017, Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev displayed poise in his return.
The Turkish lightweight met Japanese veteran Tetsuya Yamada at ONE: IRON WILL on Saturday, 24 March, in Bangkok, Thailand, and emerged victorious with a slick armbar submission in the third round.
Action started immediately, as both competitors exchanged strikes and takedown attempts. The Japanese veteran clearly wanted the match to be contested on the ground, where he constantly fished for submissions while “Dagi” occasionally dropped ground strikes before backing away.
When action returned to the feet, Arslanaliev swept on top of Yamada as the Japanese athlete shot for the takedown. The Turk was briefly in danger from a heel hook attempt, but escaped and wound up back in full guard. He dropped some elbows, and then backed away to force another stand-up.
Eventually, Arslanaliev hit his own takedown, but Yamada countered with an armbar. ”Dagi” used sheer strength to lift him into the air, and slip out. Yamada came no closer than that in achieving victory in the opening frame, as he was repeatedly swept, or taken down himself.
The numerous takedown attempts, and flops to his back off single punches, took their toll on Yamada in the second round. He was breathing heavily, and also seemed frustrated. In the process, it did not allow Arslanaliev much of a chance for dish out offense.
Everything changed in round three. Midway through the frame, it was clear that Yamada attempted one takedown too many. He was countered into a full mount, which saw “Dagi” quickly transition to an armbar. Once Arslanaliev got his legs around Yamada’s head,and extended the hold, the Japanese veteran was forced to tap. The official end was 2:51 of the third round.
With the victory, Arslanaliev improves to 5-1, and breaks into the top tier of the lightweight division, which is being ruled by ONE Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.