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ONE 166: Qatar Sets Stage for Heavyweight fight Between Bhullar and Aliakbari

LockerRoom Team
31 December 2023

In a monumental development, the upcoming ONE 166: Qatar event, scheduled for Friday, March 1, will feature a colossal heavyweight mixed martial arts clash that has fans on the edge of their seats.

Making a triumphant return to the ONE Championship stage is former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion Arjan "Singh" Bhullar. The Canadian-Indian fighter is set to go head-to-head with fellow contender Amir Aliakbari in a high-stakes battle at the prestigious Lusail Sports Arena. This marks the promotion's debut in Qatar, promising an unforgettable night of intense matchups.

Bhullar's journey to this bout includes a significant victory over Mauro "The Hammer" Cerilli and a divisional gold acquisition from the esteemed Brandon "The Truth" Vera back in 2021. In a dramatic turn of events at ONE: DANGAL, Bhullar secured the title with a second-round TKO against the Filipino-American veteran.

However, injuries and unforeseen challenges sidelined Bhullar, allowing Anatoly "Sladkiy" Malykhin to step into the limelight. Malykhin clinched the ONE Interim Heavyweight MMA World Title in 2022 and went on to unify the crown with a TKO victory over Bhullar at ONE Friday Fights 22 earlier this year, establishing himself as the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Undeterred by setbacks, Bhullar is determined to make a strong comeback, and the clash with Aliakbari on March 1 provides him with a golden opportunity to ascend the ranks once again. Aliakbari, on the other hand, has overcome a challenging start in ONE Championship, bouncing back with impressive victories, including TKO wins over Cerilli and Vera, as well as a submission triumph against Dustin Joynson.

Both fighters boast elite-level wrestling backgrounds, with Bhullar holding a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal and Aliakbari earning the title of Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion. The stylistic matchup promises explosive action, with each fighter adding powerful striking, ground-and-pound, and submission skills to their repertoire.

The stakes are high for the heavyweight clash, as the winner not only positions themselves for a potential shot at Malykhin's World Title but also aims to settle a heated rivalry that has spanned several years. With animosity brewing between Bhullar and Aliakbari, the stage is set for an electrifying showdown at ONE 166: Qatar, where both fighters are eager to make a resounding statement.

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