A fateful red card ended Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev’s bout against Georgi “Stanchev” Stoyanov.
On Saturday Night, 14 January, the bout ended after the Turkish lightweight was given a red card by referee Olivier Coste at ONE: QUEST FOR POWER after throwing an illegal kick to the head of his downed opponent in the first round.
From the opening bell, Arslanaliev controlled the fight. After a brief exchange of kicks, the Corvos MMA wunderkind rocked Stoyanov and immediately took him down to the ground.
Stoyanov, the grandson of Bulgaria’s first Olympic gold medalist, Nikola Stanchev, fell back on his grappling expertise and grabbed his opponent’s leg. Dagi stayed active, however, transitioning from position to position at lightning speed, and threw hard punches whenever he was given an open shot to the head or the body.
The end came nearly a minute and a half into the contest. Arslanaliev escaped Stoyanov’s grasp by stepping over him. Then, the undefeated prospect ran at the downed Bulgarian and launched a powerful kick, which connected with his opponent’s arm and head and appeared to have knocked him out.
According to ONE Championship’s rules, kicks to the head of a down opponent is illegal. Referee Olivier Coste immediately called an injury timeout and gave the Bulgarian five minutes to recover. But when it was clear he could not continue, Coste drew the red card to put an end to the bout.
However, pending further review, the bout has been ruled a No Contest until further notice.