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

Amir Aliakbari on His Upcoming Battle with Dustin Joynson

Amir Aliakbari has dropped the hammer on his two most recent opponents to reemerge as a heavyweight contender for ONE Championship. The Iranian’s next test will come against Dustin Joynson at ONE Fight Night 12 on Jul. 14.

After dropping his first two bouts in the promotion, Aliakbari switched things up to regain his form. And the hulking heavyweight credits his turnaround to those changes with his team.

“Yes, in the beginning when I began my career in ONE Championship, conditions were very difficult for me and that’s why I failed in my first two fights. But after that, with the help of God, and the changes I made in my team and the camps that we had in Russia, I corrected the mistakes I had made in earlier fights,” Aliakbari told ONE.


After defeating Mauro Cerilli, Aliakbari got to square off against Brandon Vera. The first-round TKO over the former ONE Heavyweight World Champion helped inspire newfound confidence in the 35-year-old.

“I loved the fight against Brandon very much because he is a fighter with a lot of experience, and we had spoken a lot before the fight. And when I defeated him, I regained my confidence,” Aliakbari said.

At ONE Fight Night 12, the Iranian has a chance to line up a rematch with two-division king Anatoly Malykhin with another thunderous performance.

Against Joynson, Aliakbari expects to hold a stylistic advantage and make an emphatic statement for the Russian.

“Dustin is a good opponent, and I have been training for many months after my last fight with Brandon, and I hope to reap the benefits of my hard work in my next fight,” Aliakbari said.

“Dustin is a good fighter. He has a strong chin and stamina, but his weak points are my strong points.”

With no fear of the Canadian heavyweight, Aliakbari envisions a quick night in Bangkok.

“This fight will be over before we reach a decision, if God wills,” Aliakbari stated flatly.

And the 35-year-old Iranian superstar is already thinking about the potential rematch against Malykhin. The prospect of getting another crack at the heavy-handed hitter is giving Aliakbari even more motivation for Jul. 14.

After my big loss to him, Anatoly Malykhin became stronger and prouder of himself. It’s my job now to break his prestige.

ONE Fight Night 12 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, Jul. 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event will be free for all Amazon Prime members in the U.S. and Canada.