Turkish grappler Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev is coming off the biggest win of his young mixed martial arts career.
In September, he stunned top lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin via first-round knockout, and that victory likely earned him a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
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 combatant Ev “E.T.” Ting at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS, which takes place on Friday, 22 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Speaking to ONE Championship, “Dagi” made it clear that he is coming for the belt.
“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,” the 24-year-old said.
Arslanaliev believes this spot in the tournament is a result of the top brass in ONE Championship taking notice of his accomplishments.
A win over Ting would 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,“ Arslanaliev said.
A grappler by trade, “Dagi” has shown he has power in his hands, and believes 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,” the Turkish athlete said.
“I haven’t noted any weaknesses in his game – the day of the fight will show it all.”
Looking at the other half of the bracket, waiting for the winner of the Arslanaliev-Ting clash will be the winner of another must-see match-up between Amir Khan and Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton.
While “Dagi” is not 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, he will first need to get past Ting before he preoccupies his mind with Khan or Sexton.