Ahmed Wali Hotak will be back in action tomorrow. The Afghan will be fighting for the first time since the Taliban took control of his country and banned MMA.

He was set to fight in Russia last month but that bout fell through. Instead the 32 year old finds himself facing Russian journeyman Vladimir Osipov at AMC Fight Nights 113 in Krasnodar:


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Hotak shared photos from the weigh ins on Instagram. His opponent has an advantage in terms of experience and has been in with some of Russia’s top welterweights.

But his 13-13 record is testament to the fact that when he has faced a top tier opponent the 31 year old has inevitably lost. He is coming off the best win of his career, having beaten Khamzat Dalgiev at AMC Fight Nights 111.

But Dalgiev withdrew from the fight at the end of the second round due to injury. Seven of Osipov’s 13 victories have come at the expense of fighters with zero wins on their record.

Hotak boasts a much more impressive sounding 10-1 record. There has been controversy surrounding some of his fights in Kabul with opponents claiming they were overwhelmed by the hostile atmosphere and did not fight to their full potential.


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Attempted kidnapping

Hotak has spent several months training in Russia. This will be his fourth time fighting there and he has won bouts in the country on three occasions.

He would have fought in Russia more frequently but was the victim of an attempted kidnapping in 2018 that led to a bout being cancelled. Hotak was stabbed and spent the best part of three years on the sidelines.

He was granted an audience with president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in the aftermath of the attack, the president who was subsequently deposed by the Taliban. Despite his connections with the previous regime Hotak felt confident enough to call a press conference to announce he would be fighting in Russia.

The welterweight clearly has a big fan following in Afghanistan. Fans there will be anxiously waiting to find out whether he can complete an assignment which looks like it could potentially be a tricky one.