Amir Aliakbari Vows To Finish Arjan Bhullar In Middle East Homecoming At ONE 166: Qatar


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Amir Aliakbari, a seasoned mixed martial artist with nearly a decade of experience, is about to embark on a significant chapter in his career.

In his next outing, he faces former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion Arjan Bhullar at the highly anticipated ONE 166: Qatar that will be held at the Lusail Sports Arena on Friday, March 1.

This time, however, it's not just any fight. It's a homecoming of sorts for the Iranian powerhouse, marking his first appearance in the Middle East wearing the sport's signature 4-ounce gloves.

For Aliakbari, this is a dream come true - an opportunity to proudly hoist his country's flag on the global stage.

“I am very happy to be part of this event and excited to fight here [in Qatar],” he said.“I love my country. Anything that I can do to help raise my country's flag high would be my pleasure.”

The significance of this moment is not lost on 36-year-old star.

Aliakbari sees this as a chance to contribute to the growth of mixed martial arts and other combat sports in the Gulf world.

“Certainly, such an event happening in the Middle East contributes to the development of martial arts in the region. Bringing ONE Championship to the region will definitely boost combat sports,” he stated.

“I really hope that ONE Championship one day comes to Iran.”

Recognizing the magnitude of the spectacle, Aliakbari – the 2010 World Wrestling Championships gold medalist – is determined to seize the moment.

Despite a challenging start in ONE Championship, he has rebounded with three impressive victories, including highlight-reel stoppages over Mauro Cerilli and former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion Brandon Vera.

Now, the Iranian colossus aims to continue his ascent in the heavyweight division with a win over another high-profile star. However, this fight has a little bit more meaning.

The tension between Aliakbari and Bhullar has been brewing for quite some time, evident in their exchanges in interviews and on social media.

Despite the personal animosity, the Tehran native maintains a level of respect toward his upcoming opponent.

“This is my biggest fight in ONE yet. We were both wrestlers and have a long history in the sport. I believe it will be a fine fight,” he said.

With an eye on the ONE Heavyweight MMA World Title, Aliakbari is focused on delivering a standout performance on Friday.

Also, he knows a victory could lead him to a rematch with longtime rival Anatoly Malykhin, who currently wears the division's gold belt.

“I've trained very hard, and based on our abilities to do a proper pre-fight analysis, I believe I'm ready for the fight,” he said.

“I believe that the winner in the next match between Arjan and myself would deserve a title shot against the ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion.”

As Aliakbari steps inside the Circle at ONE 166: Qatar, he envisions only one outcome - stopping Bhullar within three rounds.

“I will finish the match with a win, if God wills,” he declared.

Fans can purchase tickets for ONE 166: Qatar at Virgin Megastore or Q-Ticket!

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