ONE 164: Pacio vs Brooks hits our screens this weekend, live from Manila. On the card is a highly anticipated heavyweight clash between Iran’s Amir Aliakbari and Brandon Vera – here are five reasons why this is one you need to watch
Getting behind Middle East talent
Aliakbari is a real prospect in ONE and has the tools to be a major force in the heavyweight division. This former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion is 11-3 in mixed martial arts, with arguably the biggest fight of his life coming up this weekend – now is the time to get behind, and support this Middle East monster.
A fight years in the making
Ever since signing for ONE in 2019, Aliakbari has wanted to test himself against the former world champion Vera. The Filipino-American has been in the game for more than two decades, having fought in organisations across the world, and taking on some of the best fighters to have ever lived. Even at 45 years old, this would be a huge win for the Iranian.
A show of strength
At six foot three inches tall and almost 120kg, Aliakbari is a mountain of a man – and to see him in action really is something else. His wrestling background gives him the ability to throw people around like ragdolls, with a level of strength that is hard to believe. Couple this with the ability to end fights quickly and you have a very entertaining fighter.
A chance to shine for Amir
The heavyweight division is in a state of flux at the moment, Anatoliy Malykhin holds the interim title, while champion Arjan Bhullar has been sidelined since April 2021, so the title scene and top of the division is somewhat clouded. Aliakbari would love to get revenge on Malykhin after a defeat in September last year, and a win on Saturday could be just what’s needed to get his name mentioned among the big guns.
The last chance to see a champion?
While this is a huge night for Aliakbari, it is also pivotal in the career of Vera. At 45 he could believe a win here gives him one more tilt at the title, while a defeat could see him leave his gloves in the cage at the end of the night. What happens on Saturday is unclear but you don’t want to miss another huge night in the life of the former ONE champion.
ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks takes place Saturday December 3 2.30pm GST at the Mall Of Asia Arena, Manila. This is an event not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!