Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev blames instinct for his disqualification loss at ONE: Quest for Power.
Arslanaliev went into last Saturday’s fight undefeated and although he lost the fight by disqualification he’s still in many ways undefeated. He completely dominated Georgi Stoyanov before delivering a soccer kick to the head well he was on the mat. A move which six months ago would’ve been completely legal, but was banned in August. Arslanaliev explains the action was instinctual and he did his best to pull back the kick at the last minute.
“It was a simple reflex mistake we drilled this position many times before it was illegal,” Arslanaliev said in an interview with The Fight House. “I actually stopped halfway, but you can’t see that. In slow motion, after the position during the original broadcast you can clearly see that he blocked it with two hands and my hips stopped turning. I usually hit with full hip thrust motion, rather than just inside my shin, my feet just touched his head, so ONE did what they had to do, rules are rules.
“Immediately, I was very sad and hoped he would get up, but at the same time I knew he wouldn’t,” he said.
In his now five pro fights Arslanaliev has yet to go past the two minute mark – actually, 1 min. 40 sec. if you want to be exact – and this one was shaping up to be no different. Is Arslanaliev frustrated about taking a loss in a fight he was completely dominating, of course, but he takes solace in knowing he lost but not by the hands of his opponent.
“Blemishes are not important. How you fight is everything,” Arslanaliev said. “I may not be undefeated any more, but I am also not beaten. I still don’t have fights longer than 1 minute and 40 seconds. and I clearly dominated all my fights… that says a lot about how I perform. I will do what I do until I get a chance at the title and then I will do a little more.”
Arslanaliev’s situation is eerily similar to that of Jon Jones and his loss to Matt Hamill after being disqualified for illegal elbows in a fight he was dominating. Much like Jones, you have to believe Arslanaliev is still on a meteoric rise through the lightweight ranks. For his part Arslanaliev is looking to get back in the cage as soon as possible and says questioning if or when he will become ONE’s lightweight champion isn’t the question you should be asking.
“My hand is a little bit swollen from grounding and pounding my opponent that’s all, I am fine and I should be OK to fight in a month or two. I am looking forward to it as soon as possible,” Arslanaliev said. “I believe whoever is a true fighter should accept fighting me, or get out of my way. I will do my best to get there (a title shot) as soon as possible. The real question is how will they ever take it back from me once I get it.”
It is certainly a difficult situation for any fighter in Arslanaliev’s position to accept, but in the midst of the sadness and frustration he has been able to lean on the support of the many people who he says have reached out to him following the fight to offer their support and words of encouragement.
“So many people are sending messages about the fight, supporting and saying you’re a true fighter and a true warrior,” Arslanaliev said. “For everyone who sent so many supporting messages, this gives us a lot of strength. Thank you.”