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31 Mar, 2019 12:06

‘Monstrous KO artist’: Russia’s Nastyukhin stuns Alvarez at One Championship (VIDEO)

‘Monstrous KO artist’: Russia’s Nastyukhin stuns Alvarez at One Championship (VIDEO)

Things did not go to plan for MMA veteran Eddie Alvarez on his One Championship debut in Tokyo as he suffered a brutal first-round TKO defeat to Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin.

Former UFC and Bellator lightweight king Alvarez – considered one of MMA’s all-time greats – was making his promotion bow at “ONE Championship 92: A New Era,” having signed as a free agent on leaving the UFC.

But the 35-year-old American came massively undone against Nastyukhin, 29, who finished Alvarez with 55 seconds left in the first round with a huge barrage of punches.

Alvarez was taken to a Tokyo hospital as a precaution after the brutal nature of his defeat, which saw his record slip to 29-7 overall, including three losses and one no contest in his last five fights.

For Russia’s Nastyukhin, who will not have been on many fight fans’ radars before Sunday, it was the biggest scalp of his career and means he will now contest the promotion’s lightweight grand prix semifinals, where he will face Lowen Tynanes.

READ MORE: 'The god of violence does it again': Justin Gaethje KOs Edson Barboza at UFC Philadelphia

“I feel very good. You know it is my style,” the heavy-handed Nastyukhin said after dispatching his opponent.

“I like to finish in the first round by knockout and I did it. I didn’t think too much. I saw he got hurt. I saw the opportunity and I took it.”   

There was a largely stunned reaction to the result on social media, with many saying they had not seen such a comprehensive demolition job coming – despite the Russian’s track record in his 16 fights up to that point, with six of his 12 previous wins coming via KO/TKO.   

Some, however, felt that Alvarez was something of a spent force heading into the bout, coming off the back of two defeats in the UFC.

There was also the somewhat snide suggestion that the happiest man would be UFC chief Dana White, given that Alvarez had left the UFC to join One – only to fail in his first fight.