3 Fights That Could Steal The Show At ONE 166: Qatar

Amir Aliakbari delivers ground and pound on Brandon Vera at ONE 164

Topped by a trio of massive World Title rematches, ONE’s historic debut in Qatar will mark the biggest combat sports event in the nation’s history.

Set to air live on March 1 from the Lusail Sports Arena, ONE 166: Qatar is a blockbuster fight card, packed with both international superstars and elite local talent competing in high-stakes matchups.

Beyond the World Title bouts at the top of the bill, the event offers plenty of compelling action.

Here, we look at three can’t-miss fights that could steal the show this Friday.

#1 Amir Aliakbari Vs. Arjan Bhullar

Collosal heavyweights with thunderous power will throw down in a pivotal MMA tilt, as surging Iranian Amir Aliakbari will go toe-to-toe with former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.

Aliakbari has won three in a row by way of highlight-reel finish, putting him on the doorstep of a crack at reigning divisional kingpin Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin.

Standing in his way is the supremely talented Bhullar, who is hungrier than ever to reclaim the 26 pounds of gold he lost to Malykhin last summer.

Stylistically, this clash between two heavy-handed powerhouse wrestlers has the makings of an explosive battle for as long as it lasts.

To make matters even more interesting, the bout is steeped in animosity, as both Aliakbari and “Singh” have spent the past few years engaged in a heated war of words that will finally come to a head on Friday.

#2 Zuhayr Al-Qahtani Vs. Mehdi Zatout

Undefeated Saudi Arabian star Zuhayr “The Arabian Warrior” Al-Qahtani will square off with Muay Thai and kickboxing icon Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout in the first boxing match seen in ONE since 2018.

A trailblazer of the “sweet science” in the Middle East, Al-Qahtani is sure to bring out legions of fans as he looks to solidify his status as one of the region’s most beloved fighters and extend his pristine professional boxing record.

Zatout, meanwhile, will be returning from a short-lived retirement to test himself in the boxing realm. 

A former ISKA and WBC Muay Thai World Champion and a veteran of six thrilling fights in ONE, the Algerian is already one of the most respected strikers on the planet.

Of course, a professional boxing win over an elite specialist like “The Arabian Warrior” would be a massive feather in the 40-year-old’s cap.

#3 Shinji Suzuki Vs. Han Zi Hao

The classic Japan-versus-China rivalry will be reignited when battle-hardened Shinji Suzuki takes on former ONE World Title challenger Han Zi Hao in an explosive bantamweight Muay Thai tilt.

Each of these dynamic strikers will have their back against the wall here, setting the stage for an all-out war.

Suzuki arrived at the world’s largest martial arts organization last year while riding an impressive five-fight winning streak, but he came up short in his promotional debut. Now, he’ll aim to showcase his gritty style and prove he belongs among the best of the best.

For his part, Han is a veteran of 13 fights in ONE and has consistently found himself among the bantamweight Muay Thai elite thanks to his speedy and ultra-aggressive approach to combat.

However, the Chinese standout has now dropped two in a row against top-flight competition and knows he’ll need to put on a show at ONE 166 to re-establish himself as a serious threat in the division.

More in Features

Smilla Sundell Allycia Hellen Rodrigues ONE Fight Night 14 20
Halil Amir Ahmed Mujtaba ONE Fight Night 16 38
Mur Hawk Slater
Thongpoon PK Saenchai Timur Chuikov ONE Fight Night 19 39
Kongthoranee Sor Sommai Jaosuayai Sor Dechapan ONE Friday Fights 82
Regian Eersel Alexis Nicolas ONE Fight Night 21 22
Jake Peacock Kohei Shinjo ONE Friday Fights 58 48
Regian Eersel Alexis Nicolas ONE Fight Night 21 14
Regian Eersel Dmitry Menshikov ONE Fight Night 11 16
Ben Tynan Kang Ji Won ONE Fight Night 16 37
Regian Eersel Dmitry Menshikov ONE Fight Night 11 64
Jake Peacock posing at PK Saenchai Muaythaigym