Amir Aliakbari Disses Anatoly Malykhin, Says ONE Heavyweights Not ‘On My Level’

Published 09/22/2021, 2:54 PM EDT


Controversial Iranian heavyweight Amir Aliakbari is entering his next bout with a huge chip on his shoulder, and from his viewpoint, something to prove when he steps back in the Circle.

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The 33-year-old Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion suffered a shock knockout loss to unheralded Korean fighter Kang Ji Won in his ONE Championship debut earlier this year, and he’s looking to redeem himself in his next outing.

Aliakbari is set to face undefeated Russian star Anatoly Malykhin at ONE: Revolution, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, September 24.

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While he certainly acknowledges Malykhin is a dangerous opponent, Aliakbari is confident he can take the Russian out early.

“I respect his fighting style. I understand he is a great fighter. I’m excited to fight him. I’ve studied him, I’m prepared for him, and I believe whoever wins this fight is positioned to fight for the belt. I believe it’s going to be a very fun fight and I welcome the hard fights,” Aliakbari said.

“We were scheduled to fight him twice, both times he pulled out without giving proper reasoning. He has talked a lot. Now, it’s time for him to talk in the cage.”

Aliakbari and Malykhin have been jawing at each other on social media since last March. Suffice to say, the two simply don’t like each other.

However, according to Aliakbari, he harbors general disdain for all heavyweights in the promotion.

“I don’t like any of my opponents. My only goal is to smash every single opponent I face,” Aliakbari said.

“You could ask any heavyweight, they all know — that last fight doesn’t represent me. Anatoly is a wrestler with an overhand right, and that’s about it. I’m going to try to engage with him in grappling, which I welcome, but I believe I’m going to knock him out.”

Aliakbari certainly has an idea of what he wants to accomplish in the promotion, and knows exactly how he’s going to achieve his goals. He plans on blasting his way through the division, and ultimately challenging reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar for the belt.

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But the road to redemption starts at ONE: Revolution. A victory over Malykhin will bring him one step closer to the world title.

“None of these guys are on my level. They are not even on the level of my pinky, and I’ll show that. I’ve won four world titles and these guys haven’t even gotten third place, so they don’t know what they are talking about. They are daydreaming, and when they see me in the cage — starting with Anatoly — they’ll wake up real quick,” Aliakbari said.

“I’ll get past Anatoly, and I’m looking at Arjan [Bhullar].”

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ONE: Revolution broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, September 24. Christian “The Warrior” Lee defends his ONE lightweight world title against #3-ranked lightweight Ok Rae Yoon in the main event.

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Raj Sarkar

2501 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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