Welcome to ONE Championship, Eddie Alvarez.
Making his debut for the Singapore-based promotion Sunday at the “A New Era” show in Tokyo, Japan, Alvarez was overwhelmed by Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin. The 29-year-old did not seem at all intimidated by the former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion and he put Alvarez away with strikes at the 4:05 mark of round one.
Timofey Nastyukhin SHOCKS THE ! The Russian warrior knocks out Eddie Alvarez at 4:05 of Round 1 to advance in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix! #WeAreONE #ANewEra #Tokyo #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/YxUV0TSnFR— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 31, 2019
“I feel very good,” Nastyukhin said afterwards via a translator. “It’s my style, I love to finish fights in the first round by knockout, so I did it.”
Competing for the first time since a TKO loss to Dustin Poirer at UFC on FOX 30 last July, Alvarez (29-7, 1 NC) struggled to get anything going against the aggressive Nastyukhin. He looked just a step slow and it cost him, as Nastyukhin eventually found the range and dropped Alvarez with straight punches before cracking him with an overhand right that resulted in the bout being waved off.
It was the second straight knockout loss for the 35-year-old Alvarez, who is now 1-2 with one no contest in his last four outings.
With the win, Nastyukhin advances to the semifinals of the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix.
“I didn’t think too much,” Nastyukhin said of the ending sequence. “I saw he got hurt, I saw the opportunity, and I took it.”