Amir Aliakbari and Anatoly Malykhin swap beards ahead of heated heavyweight showdown
When self-proclaimed heavyweight king Amir Aliakbari enters the Circle with Anatoly Malykhin this Friday night, September 24 at ONE Championship: Revolution, he will seek redemption.
While his undefeated Russian opponent holds a perfect 9-0 record in mixed martial arts competitions, Amir Aliakbari’s latest outing was not so successful. The former Iranian Olympian suffered a knockout loss on his debut for ONE last March, after a left-handed block from South Korean banger Kang Ji Won separated him from his senses.
Yet, surprisingly enough, the controversial Amir Aliakbari, who recently spoke to ONE Championship, did not appear to lose confidence before his next clash.
“You can ask any heavyweight, they all know that – this last fight doesn’t represent me. I pass Anatoly and then I look at Arjan [Bhullar]”Amir Aliakbari told ONE, already setting his sights on the world heavyweight champion.
Known for his light sense of humor, Anatoly Malykhin mocked Amir Aliakbari’s grandiose comments and elicited a sarcastic response when he heard what the Iranian had said.
“It seems that not everyone thinks the same way. Our Korean brother [Kang Ji Won] one hundred percent didn’t think of it that way. And I know Russian fans, Russians don’t think of him that way either. So you know, you better not think highly of yourself, ”Anatoly Malykhin said with a smirk.
Bad blood between Amir Aliakbari and Anatoly Malykhin
Anatoly Malykhin ignited a bit of composure after Amir Aliakbari’s loss to Kang earlier this year, uploading a video to Instagram that saw the Russian athlete laugh, dazed with excitement at the sight of Aliakbari being knocked out.
However, despite the video and his rejection of Aliakbari’s comments, Malykhin insists he does not underestimate his opponent.
“I appreciate this opportunity, this trip that I have, so I can’t wait to finish [Aliakbari]… He is very strong and has very good grappling and wrestling skills. But he also has a lot of weaknesses. He’s been knocked out a few times, but we can’t underestimate him. We will see in this fight.
It’s safe to say that the two heavyweights just don’t like each other, outright.
Amir Aliakbari, however, says he doesn’t like any of ONE’s heavyweights to be exact, and is more than confident he’ll cross the opposition on his way to a world title.
“I don’t like any of my opponents. My only goal is to crush all the opponents I face, ”said Aliakbari.
“None of these guys are at my level. They’re not even at my pinky, and I’m going to show it. I won four world titles and these guys didn’t even get third place, so they don’t know what they’re talking about, they dream, and when they see me in the cage, starting with Anatoly, they wake up very quickly.
The fight between Amir Aliakbari and Anatoly Malykhin has been called a potential heavyweight title eliminator, with the winner of the fight likely to challenge Arjan Bhullar for the UN heavyweight title.
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