Weekly MMA Prospect Report: ONE Heavyweights in Action

Amir Aliakbari
Amir Aliakbari (top) Credit: Sachiko Hotaka/Rizin FF

ONE Championship has never had the deepest of heavyweight divisions, but a couple of future stars are in action at Fists of Fury 2. That and more in this edition of the Weekly MMA Prospect Report.

ONE Championship: Fists of Fury 2 | Friday | Singapore

Heavyweight, Amir Aliakbari (10-1)

Aliakbari is a very accomplished Greco-Roman Olympic wrestler, and he’s transitioned well to MMA. He can use his strength to suplex his opponents repeatedly, and he has good pressure on top with solid ground-and-pound. Sometimes he does so much with his wrestling that he runs out of energy by the end of the fight, but if he learns to be more conservative or ups his cardio, he will be a huge threat. He fights Ji Won Kang (4-0).

Heavyweight, Anatoly Malykhin (8-0)

Russia’s own Anatoly Malykhin has run through all his opposition to date. He is a Master of Sports in Freestyle Wrestling and is the 2016 heavyweight Euro Grappling champion. In his short career, he’s beat names such as Jake Heun, Alexei Kudin, and Baga Agaev. Malykhin will just bull rush his way through opponents to get the fight to the mat. If he can get his hands together or just get a leg it’s a sure thing — he’s scoring the takedown. He’s a physical beast. If he’s not mauling you with ground and pound he’s ripping your arm off. Malykhin is a major threat. He fights Alexandre Machado (9-3).

Lightweight, Kai Tang (11-2)

Tang is someone that jumped out to me recently and his style is something I like very much. I believe he comes from a muay thai base and if so you can tell. Tang is a rangy fighter who will fight on the outside the entire time. He has a well-executed jab, nice leg kicks, and is so good at striking going backwards. Tang is a sniper from the outside whether if that’s with his legs or his fists. Not only a striker he will shoot for takedowns and is solid with his grappling. Tang has a wide tool set and I believe he’s the real deal. He fights Ryogo Takahashi (14-4).

Lightweight, Ruslan Emilbek (12-0)

Emilbek is a well-rounded fighter fighting out of Kyrgyzstan. On the feet, he’s a long striker throwing crisp one-twos and just picking apart guys on the outside. He’s a national grappling champion so he’s just as good on the mat. His wrestling looks good to compliment his grappling. Emilbek only needs to improve his gas tank but has a good skill-set. He fights Yoshiki Nakahara (13-5).

FAC 7 | US | Friday

Featherweight, David Onama (6-0)

Onama is a product out of Glory MMA and Fitness. He’s 6-0 as a pro and went 10-0 as an amateur. He throws good long straight punches and has some pop in his left hand. He’s an even better wrestler with solid ground and pound and jiu-jitsu. Onama is still green but has some good experience and is very well-rounded. He fights Mike Plazola (16-11).

Welterweight, Mikey England (3-0)

England, in his seven fights as a pro and amateur, has finished all seven and all in spectacular performances. He’s a hard-swinging heavy-handed fighter with impressive wrestling. England will wing some wide hooks but his power is lights-out. The wrestling is his strong suit, and he will lift and slam guys WWE-style. England has good ground and pound with heavy power and keeps active. He’s been very dominant once on the mat. He fights Bryan McDowell (4-1).

MMA SERIES-27 | Russia | Saturday

Lightweight, Alexey Lyapunov (8-1)

Lyapunov is good prospect who gets better as the fight goes on. I consider him a slow starter but with a deep gas tank winning rounds two and three and finishing late makes him a problem. His takedown defense needs work but he is dangerous off his back. In fact, Lyapunov has three triangle wins on his record. He’s a good counter striker and has good kicks he utilizes. I’m not fully sold on him but he has me interested. He fights José Santana (14-5).

Bantamweight, Aydemir Kazbekov (6-0)

Kazbekov is a small 135er and I believe he could and should be fighting at 125 instead. On the feet, the Russian is a bit wild throwing a lot of looping hooks. He is always coming forward and even if he is throwing wild he hits hard. Kazbekov is a master of sports in Freestyle Wrestling and it shows. He’s got strong wrestling and on top, he’s even better. Kazbekov throws excellent ground and pound and is good at flowing on top into dominant positions. He fights Aiyom Khabirov (8-3).