Amir Aliakbari looks set to challenge for the heavyweight title. The Iranian was supposed to face off with Anatoly Malykhin after his victory over Dustin Joynson at ONE Fight Night 12 this morning but the plan was scrapped after the two men nearly came to blows.

Malykhin was invited into the ring and immediately began to taunt Aliakbari, although it wasn’t clear exactly what was being said. The two men briefly wrestled with one another before the altercation was broken up and the Russian escorted back to his seat.

They both ended up in an awkward clinch although it is possible one of them might have been simply trying to embrace the other. Whether or not the plan was to announce a rematch we don’t know but Aliakbari is clearly the #1 contender.

The Iranian has well and truly turned his ONE Championship career around after losing his first two fights with the promotion. He will have an opportunity to avenge one of those losses when he rematches Malykhin later this year.

Crucifix position

Aliakbari looked sharp in the early exchanges as he fired off hooks to the head. The Iranian drove Joynson back with a series of jabs and had the Canadian trapped in the corner.

He fired off a hard right hand to the head and with Joynson’s hands high Aliakbari was easily able to secure a takedown. He immediately secured side control and trapped the Canadian in the crucifix position.

With both arms pinned Joynson’s head was completely exposed and Aliakbari took advantage to land several punches. Eventually the Canadian decided he had had enough with the tap coming at the 1:48 mark.

With the win Aliakbari improves to 13-3 and probably secures a shot at the heavyweight title. Joynson drops to 7-2-0-1.

Best of the rest

Earlier in the evening Yuya Wakamatsu (16-6) made quick work of Xie Wei (17-6). The former flyweight title contender needed just over two minutes two finish the Chinese fighter with ground and pound.

Garry Tonon (8-1) submitted Shamil Gasanov (13-1) with a second round knee bar. The BJJ black belt looked second best for much of the fight but one opportunity was all he needed to make the previously undefeated Russian tap while screaming in pain.

ONE Fight Night 12, Bangkok, July 15th
Amir Aliakbari def. Dustin Joynson via TKO (Submission to punches) at 1:48 of R1
Yuya Wakamatsu def. Xie Wei via TKO (Punches) at 2:03 of R1
Akbar Abdullaev def. Aaron Cañarte via TKO (Spinning back kick and punches) at 0:41 of R1
Muay Thai: Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom def. Lara Fernandez via TKO (Punches) at 0:26 of R1
Banma Duoji def. Walter Goncalves via Decision (Unanimous)
Submission Grappling: Tammi Musumeci def. Amanda Alequin via Decision (Unanimous)
Kickboxing: Bogdan Shumarov def. Constantin Rusu via TKO (Head kick) at 1:33 of R3