The winner of the fight between Amir Aliakbari and Anatoly Malykhin will be the next ONE Heavyweight Title Challenger.
All hell is likely to break loose in the Circle as controversial Iranian wrestler Amir Aliakbari meets undefeated Russian mauler Anatoly Malykhin.
Aliakbari and Malykhin are two of ONE Championship’s most dangerous heavyweights.
To add to the intrigue, both guys have a true dislike for one another as they prepare for their highly anticipated clash.
On Friday, September 24, the two will face off at ONE: Revolution, which will be aired live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The winner of the fight will face reigning heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar in his first world title defense, according to ONE Championship CEO Chatri Stiyodtong.
“On September 24th, at ONE: Revolution, we have a championship eliminator bout between Anatoly Malykhin, a 9-0, 250-pound Russian, and Amir Aliakbari, the Greco Roman world champion from Iran, who is 10-2. In an interview with Dylan Bowker, Sityodtong was cited as saying, “The victor would face Arjan Bhullar.”
Aliakbari debuted in the ONE Championship in March of this year to tremendous acclaim. Unfortunately, he was defeated by South Korean knockout artist Kang Ji Won in his promotional debut, losing by first-round KO at ONE: Fists of Fury II.
Malykhin, on the other hand, remained undefeated as a pro after winning his first ONE Championship bout by TKO over Alexandre Machado on the same card.
“Over the last few months, we’ve made a concerted effort to bolster our heavyweight category. Sityodtong remarked, “You’ve seen some of it.”
“I mean, we keep bringing in more and more talented heavyweights,” says the coach.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, a grappling legend, will make his professional MMA debut at ONE: Revolution, echoing Sityodtong’s allegation.
Almeida is widely regarded as one of the finest submission grapplers of all time, and he’s been honing his MMA skills with the likes of former UFC champion Daniel Cormier at AKA for quite some time.
Arjan Bhullar, a former UFC fighter, won the heavyweight title earlier this year after an upset victory over longtime champion Brandon Vera.
The heavyweight division is gradually becoming one of the most fascinating weight classes in the promotion, as it is finally taking shape.