Updated: Nov 1
Amir Aliakbari got off to a rough start when he joined ONE Championship, but the Iranian superstar has gotten back on the path toward the top of the heavyweight mountain. Now he is set for a pivotal clash against Dustin Joynson at ONE Fight Night 12 on July 14.
After a powerful finish of Mauro Cerilli last August, Aliakbari returned with a first-round TKO over former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera to prove his status as a threat to the throne. Aliakbari knows the Canadian will be a tough out but is confident he has the advantage in the matchup. “Dustin is a good opponent, and I have been training for many months after my last fight with Brandon, and I hope to reap the benefits of my hard work in my next fight,” Aliakbari told ONE.
“Dustin is a good fighter. He has a strong chin and stamina, but his weak points are my strong points.” Getting back in the win column was important for Aliakbari, and his back-to-back TKO wins have given him momentum in the division. He can attribute some of that success to his mindset. The Iranian is focused on only one thing — winning.
“The most important thing in my life is martial arts and, more importantly, being successful at it,” Aliakbari said.
Not one to mince words, Aliakbari was steadfast in his prediction for the heavyweight clash. The 35-year-old does not see it getting to the judges. “This fight will be over before we reach a decision if God wills,” Aliakbari said.
But the heavyweight knows another challenge awaits with a big performance, and one that is important for him to attempt again.
In his second bout in ONE, Aliakbari was ousted by Anatoly Malykhin. The Russian now stands atop the division with the undisputed ONE Heavyweight World Championship. And Aliakbari feels it is his destiny to take him off his pedestal.
“After my big loss to him, Anatoly Malykhin became stronger and prouder of himself. It’s my job now to break his prestige,” Aliakbari said.
He will first need to get past Joynson on July 14 to get that chance. Aliakbari is prepared to show the world he deserves the rematch and a chance at ultimate glory.
ONE Fight Night 12 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, July 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members in the U.S. and Canada.