0408 GMT January 19, 2019
Iranian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Amir Ali-Akbari said he will respond to Mukhomad Vakhaev’s bragging only “in the ring” when he takes on the Russian for the Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) heavyweight title in Moscow on November 10.
Having outpowered Daniel ‘the Polish bear’ Omielańczuk last weekend, the 30-year-old Iranian could become the first-ever non-Russian ACB heavyweight champion, ending the Russians’ dominance in the history of the MMA organization.
Below is what the former world Greco-Roman wrestling champion told Iran Daily:
IRAN DAILY: Tell us about your fight against Omielańczuk. It was in the news that you had to spend the night in the hospital due to injuries.
ALI-AKBARI: It was a really tough fight. Fortunately, given all the ups and downs in the match, I could come out victorious. I suffered a wrist and a foot injury during the match but hopefully that won’t be serious.
Will you recover in time to face Vakhaev?
I’m still undergoing the medical treatment in Iran and will find out within the next 10 days if I’ll be fit for the match.
There was a rumor that you are hesitating to fight the Russian because of the injuries. Is that true?
That is absolute nonsense. After training so hard for months and going through two tough fights, I can’t wait to face Vakahev.
How do you fancy your chances against him?
Well, the Russians have been dominating the ACB organization for years and Vakhaev is no exception. I only go for the victory every time I step into the cage and I’m fully motivated for this one because I’ve come a long way and been through a lot to get to this level.
Vakhaev has been bagging so much about his bout against you. What do you have to say about his words?
Bragging is a part of this sport, but I usually respond to my opponents’ bragging in the ring and that’s what I’m going to do when I get into the rage with him.
Finally, what is your ultimate goal in MMA?
I’m currently competing at the ACB organization but I also hope to, one day, make my mark at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) company.