Former ONE World Title challenger Tyler McGuire wants to make a statement in his next fight. He wants to send a message to the rest of the ONE welterweight division, that he’s ready for another shot at the world title.
To do that, however, McGuire needs to get past one of the toughest competitors in his weight class.
McGuire is set to face the highly-regarded Raimond Magomedaliev on the undercard of ONE on TNT I, the first of a four-part event series which broadcasts on Wed. April 7 (Thu., April 8 in Asia) live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
McGuire has studied Magomedaliev extensively, and knows what he’s up against.
“I think he’s an excellent, dynamic striker. If you look at what he likes to do, he actually kind of breaks the mold a little bit of the Dagestani production line. He’s more of a rangy striker,” McGuire told ONE Championship.
The 35-year-old from Arizona plans to use his wrestling skills to get the job done against the dangerous Russian.
“I’m not saying he can’t take me down because he’s a sambo champ, and I know he has that capability, but I’m not worried about him doing that. I don’t really have to fear the takedown like he does when I’m trying to get mine, as far as trading leather,” said McGuire. “If he does take me down, whatever, walk into my office, thanks. Now you’ve just saved me some energy. You took me down, and now we’re working.”
McGuire joined ONE Championship in early 2018, defeating the tough Luis Santos impressively by decision. That same year, he challenged then-champion Zebaztian Kadestam. Although he dominated the majority of the contest, controlling the action with his grappling, McGuire succumbed in the fifth and final round by knockout.
Since the loss, McGuire has had time to reflect, remember what he’s fighting for, and emerge with a renewed fire on the other end.
“You take your first L, and it does something to you. You lose your aura of invincibility. It goes back to my daughter, though, and I’m trying to get her back up on the horse when she fails because she will. I can be that example of, ‘Hey, I failed, and I came back.’ So, that’s what it comes down to,” said McGuire.
“I feel like every fight should be a step forward in your career. If it’s not, you’re taking backward steps, and maybe you should re-evaluate where you’re at. Should you still be doing this? If I’m not marching toward the title, then forget it.”
ONE on TNT I features a main event showdown between ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix and 12-time UFC champ Demetrious Johnson and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.
Also on the card is the return of former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez who faces No. 2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus in the co-main event, as well as an appearance from ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
McGuire wants to earn himself a spectacular stoppage in front of his American fans, so he’s making a bold prediction on fight night.
“My goal is just to keep putting the pressure on, and then I want to get that finish in the second round,” said McGuire. “It’s going to be head-hunting. I want to put him down.”
The ONE on TNT series will air every Wednesday in the United States from April 7 for four weeks. Each week will include a preliminary card digitally streamed exclusively on the Bleacher Report App and B/R Live from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, followed by three main card fights televised exclusively on TNT in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET. It will be available in Asia via the usual channels.