3 Reasons Why Amir Aliakbari Might Be The Most Dangerous Heavyweight Contender

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

Iranian superstar Amir Aliakbari is one of the heavyweight MMA division’s most imposing figures.

On July 14, at ONE Fight Night 12: Superlek vs. Khalilov on Prime Video, the 35-year-old behemoth will look to make it three wins in a row when he battles Canadian standout Dustin Joynson live in U.S. primetime.

After going undefeated in 2022, a victory for Aliakbari could put him in position for a crack at reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin

Here are three reasons why the man from Tehran is one of the division’s most intriguing – and dangerous – contenders. 

#1 He’s A Dual-Threat Fighter

Aliakbari is a uniquely talented athlete. 

On one hand, he is a world-class wrestler. The former Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion is a suffocating and powerful grappler of the highest degree, capable of putting practically any opponent on the canvas whenever he wants.

On the other hand, Aliakbari is also a ruthless knockout artist. Across 12 career MMA victories, he owns nine knockout finishes – including two straight against top fighters in ONE’s talent-laden heavyweight division.

It’s that combination of skills that makes the Iranian a real threat to any man on the planet.

#2 He’s Surging At The Right Time

After opening his ONE tenure with a pair of surprising defeats, the AAA Team product has found his stride in impressive fashion, knocking out Italian slugger Mauro Cerilli and then former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera.

Those back-to-back performances have quickly put Aliakbari near the top of the division’s pecking order, and his winning streak comes at just the right time.

This past June at ONE Friday Fights 22, Malykhin took out Arjan Bhullar to become the undisputed heavyweight king. The Russian now needs a challenger for his gold, and Aliakbari could make his case with a third consecutive victory on July 14.

#3 He Has History With Malykhin

Finally, the Iranian is motivated by revenge.

Before he kicked off his current winning streak, the 35-year-old suffered a crushing defeat against Malykhin. Now that his rival has become the division’s kingpin, Aliakbari is no doubt dying for another head-to-head battle.

Simply put, the Tehran native is competing not just with the goal of winning a ONE World Title – but also to prove he’s a better fighter than what he showed against Malykhin in their first bout.

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