The Beast from the Middle East

The Beast from the Middle East

Amir Aliakbari might not be a name that resonates much of opinion amongst the casual fan or even the more knowledgeable fans, the reason for this is because he has spent the entirety of his career fighting in lesser known promotions such as ACB or Rizin FC. Interestingly enough, he has 1.6 million followers on Instagram, making him more popular on that social media market than UFC stars like Stipe Miocic, Cain Velasquez, Donald Cerrone, Nick Diaz & even Brock Lesnar. So it is evident that Aliakbari is well known, just in different places than the traditional Western stars, as he has a big following in Japan, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He has the credentials to be the best wrestler in all of MMA, it would be difficult to argue against that, with a record of 14-1 at the World Greco-Roman stages and never having been pinned, one would struggle to find someone in MMA with better credentials than that. A 3x world medallist (1 Bronze and 2 Golds however one of those golds were revoked when he failed his drug test). Serving a lifetime ban which saw him return to gold and miss the Olympics he turned his focus to MMA.

In his fourth ever fight he won a Unanimous Decision over the returning 28-13 UFC and Pride FC veteran Heath Herring. Daniel Omielanczuk, Shelton Graves and Tyler King are also fighters who have lost to Amir Aliakbari. What makes these names impressive is that all of these men have some form of UFC connection by either being in the UFC, on Dana White’s Contender Series or The Ultimate Fighter. Assuming when his contract with ACA expires after his next fight it would be interesting to see him transition to the Western market, at 10-1 in MMA with a 70% knockout rate and a large following from markets the UFC have yet to really enter into, the areas of Asia and African, his Iranian place of birth makes him a transcontinental star, there is a lot of markets that he could open for the UFC, without bringing negativity though, he would need to pass the testing by USADA. Seeing as his only loss was to the legendary Mirko Cro Cop in only his 6th fight, I think it is safe to say that as long as he can stay clean, the future is very bright for this man at only 31 years of age in a division with a lot of older fighters.

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