American Top Team middleweight Omari Akhmedov has a big opportunity ahead of him in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 6. And he knows it.
Akhmedov (20-4-1) is unbeaten since returning to middleweight in 2017, with three wins and a draw. He’s now paired up with former 185lb champ Chris Weidman, returning to the weight class after a failed excursion up to 185lbs.
“Chris is a good fighter. He’s a big name. It’s a good chance for me to get close to the title,” Akhmedov told media outlets including Cageside Press during the UFC Vegas 6 media day.
How close is the question. Akhmedov sits at 11th in the UFC’s official rankings heading into the bout. “After him, maybe nine, ten. Next level,” he suggested.
Ahead of what is unquestionably the biggest fight of his career, Akhmedov stated that despite the coronavirus pandemic, things were going smoothly. “Good training, a lot of sparring partners. Good camp.”
As for the quirks of fighting at the UFC Apex this weekend, they weren’t getting to him. No crowd present, “no problem,” he said. The smaller cage, not an issue either. “It’s no problem. Small is no problem.”
As to how he gets the job done Saturday night, on the feet appears to be the hope. “Maybe knockout,” said Akhmedov.
Weidman has been finished in five of his last six fights, all by KO/TKO, so that seems very possible. As does a top ten placement if the Dagestani fighter gets by the ex-champ.
UFC Vegas 6 takes place Saturday, August 8, airing live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).