The accomplished Greco-Roman champion wrestler Amir Aliakbari has been signed to the UFC and will be fighting in the Heavyweight division, having already beaten some alumni from the UFC in his fights before signing we already know that he is UFC ready, but just how ready is he? This is a great signing for the UFC as Amir is only 31 years old in a division which is traditionally older when it comes to its competitors. The biggest question surround Aliakbari will be answered as well, is he clean? With his controversial background in amateur wrestling, having to return one of his World Championship wins and being disqualified due to his failed drug tests, seeing him receive a lifetime ban from the sport. With USADA testing being very advanced and strict it will be interesting to see if Aliakbari is winning with his own merit and skill or if there has been illegal substances used to help him.
If he is clean and makes it to the cage then his skill obviously positions him to be fighting people of a higher calibre than one would traditionally get for their UFC debut. There are a lot of potential opponents for him to fight when he makes his octagon debut.
- Aleksei Oleinik
- Mark Hunt
- Justin Willis
The reason for those three name suggestions is simple. Oleinik has a crafty submission game which would be an interesting test for the elite wrestler because he would have to be aware of a variety of different submission threats. Mark Hunt isn’t a top contender anymore however he still has insane power and slick timing, this would be the second K-1 Champion of Amir’s career, his first being against the legendary Mirko Cro Cop, so it would be interesting to see the development of Amir’s striking defence in this fight. Willis has solid wrestling and utilises his jab well, this could be a solid test for Aliakbari because although he would have the better wrestling game there is no guarantee that this would translate to MMA wrestling. All 3 of these men pose some kind of threat for Aliakbari, another potential option could be the former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski who is solid enough everywhere to make a few issues for Aliakbari.
The future is very bright.