Amir Aliakbari is coming over to compete in ONE Championship. As the promotion is returning back to putting on live events, they’re looking to fill out their deep roster even more so to add to these cards. Aliakbari will be joining a division helmed by reigning ONE heavyweight champ Brandon Vera. Names like Arjan Bhullar, Mauro Cerilli, Marcus Buchecha Almeida, and Alain Ngalani also fill out the division. ONE figurehead Chatri Sityodtong just announced Aliakbari’s signing on his personal Twitter account:
— Chatri Sityodtong (@yodchatri) August 4, 2020
Aliakbari has a seventy percent finishing rate across his ten pro victories. He has plied his trade on both the Rizin and ACB (ACA) circuits. It has been close to seventeen months since Aliakbari last competed. He scored a first-round TKO of Shelton Graves at ACA 93 in March 2019. The lone loss of his pro career came against Mirko Cro Cop in the finals of Rizin’s 2016 World Grand Prix. Amir Aliakbari has picked up statement wins over Daniel Omielańczuk, Valentin Moldavsky, Heath Herring, and Denis Smoldarev.
There was dialogue in June 2019 about Aliakbari coming to the UFC but some hurdles were met. US economic sanctions against his native Iran made it impossible to transfer his income. After a half year of close consultation with those in the UFC, Aliakbari voided out his contract with the promotion. Despite multiple efforts to make it work, ultimately there was no way for things to be figured out at that juncture.
No news as of yet on when Aliakbari will make his ONE debut or who his first opponent will be. The promotion will presumably be looking to reschedule the Arjan Bhullar vs Brandon Vera title fight which was scrapped in late May. After that though, future contendership positions are pretty wide open. An emphatic win or two could position Aliakbari for a shot at the promotion’s heavyweight crown.