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3 Fights for Amir Aliakbari in 2023

LockerRoom Team
22 December 2022

Amir Aliakbari’s 2022 was a year of righting wrongs, and with two thunderous knockouts in two fights, the Iranian standout has built some serious momentum in the heavyweight division. 

Aliakbari’s last outing saw him make good on a promise from two years ago when he faced MMA legend Brandon “The Truth” Vera at ONE 164 this month. His knockout of the Filipino superstar led Vera to retire from mixed martial arts and notch a memorable win on the Iranian powerhouse’s belt. 

The Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion vowed to take on all comers in 2023. With that said, let’s look at some potential matchups for the emerging heavyweight.

“Reug Reug” Oumar Kane

Kane, too, has also found his footing in ONE Championship. Since suffering a loss to former ONE Heavyweight World Championship contender Kirill Grishenko in 2021, “Reug Reug” picked up two big victories this calendar year. 

The Senegalese’s wild fighting style came back to light at ONE 161 in September, where he knocked out Batradz Gazzaev in the second round. Kane followed up on his good fortune earlier this month at ONE Fight Night 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin, showing the most composed performance of his career against Jasur Mirzamukhamedov to take home a unanimous decision. 

The similar career trajectories between the two heavyweight scrappers could lead to a wild fight between them in 2023. 

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida

The rise of “Buchecha” in the ranks of ONE’s heavyweight division has been nothing short of meteoric. The undefeated Brazilian has made light work of each nemesis in his way. And, at 4-0, he doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon.

The 17-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion has become a fierce name among his divisional peers and is already eyeing a title shot in the upcoming year.

A battle with Aliakbari could have all the makings of a true ONE Heavyweight World Title eliminator bout. With Aliakbari’s wrestling, Almeida’s grappling, and both men’s knockout abilities, the dangerous heavyweights could collide in explosive fashion.

Kang Ji Won

The “Mighty Warrior” is a familiar foe of Aliakbari, with the duo having faced each other in March 2021 at ONE: Fists of Fury II. 

Kang was victorious on that night, scoring a first-round finish against the Tehran giant. Much like Vera before him, Kang’s name has Aliakbari’s attention.

ALSO READ | I am the best and most famous fighter in Middle East, says Amir Aliakbari

With the newfound momentum of the Iranian, he will fancy another chance against the South Korean slugger. Kang’s recent form is no joke either, as he’s amassed a 3-1 record in his four fights under the ONE banner, including a first-round knockout of Paul Elliott earlier this year.

Aliakbari’s 2023 looks to be one the battler is relishing. Should he make good on all his opportunities, he may well see gold in his grasp.

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