Amir Khan and Timofey Nastyukhin will collide in February at ONE: Quest for Gold.
The two lightweight contenders are set to meet in the co-main event in the organization’s return to Yangon, Myanmar, on February 24 in a bout that has massive significance for the ONE Championship lightweight division.
Khan (9-2) recently extended his winning streak to six when he picked up the biggest win of his career against Adrian Pang at ONE: Immortal Pursuit in November. The Singaporean managed to outlast and overcome the consistent pressure of his opponent due to an excellent strategy. The key, as Khan described to The Body Lock, was ‘not fighting Pang’s fight’.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]”I think I did well at keeping my range and not fighting his fight. We all knew that he [Adrian Pang] loves to brawl, so I just didn’t give him the opportunity to do so.”[/perfectpullquote]
The 23-year-old used a variety of kicks to frustrate his opponent. In particular, Khan punished the lead leg of Pang with low side kicks and stomps to the thigh every time the veteran attempted to close the distance. The Singaporean also showed off a tremendous ability to escape the clinch and keep the fight exactly where he wanted it.
These improvements should come as no shock to fans as Khan’s journey through the lightweight division has consistently featured the addition of new elements to his skill set.
When asked about what improvements we can expect to see in February, Khan declared:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]”The next time you see me back in the cage, I’ll be a completely different fighter.”[/perfectpullquote]
Quest for Gold
Khan’s ‘Quest for Gold’ continues in Yangon, Myanmar, when he meets fellow lightweight Timofey Nastyukhin.
Nastyukhin (11-3), who is renowned for his spectacular knockout of Eduard Folayang and his six-second punch and soccer-kick finish of Rob Lisita, will be competing for the first time since August last year.
When asked about his upcoming opponent, Khan shared:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]”Timofey is a fierce competitor and I know that he will bring his best. Both of us love to strike and are really well-rounded, so I believe it will be a really exciting matchup for the fans.”[/perfectpullquote]
Despite defeating Adrian Pang in flying colors, Amir Khan’s desire to be the first male Singaporean world champion is completely reliant on him defeating Nastyukhin in their upcoming battle.
If successful in February, Khan has his eyes set on Martin Nguyen’s lightweight title.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]”After I get through Timofey, they have to give me a shot at Martin in May. If Martin does not want to defend the belt anytime soon, I want to fight for an interim belt against Eduard Folayang.”[/perfectpullquote]
Amir Khan vs. Timofey Nastyukhin is the scheduled co-main event for ONE: Quest for Gold on February 23. The organization’s return to Yangon, Myanmar, will be held at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.