A heavy bag is used by fighters who want to practice throwing full power against a target that carries a bit of weight. It is also the perfect description for Amir Aliakbari, at least according to heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar.

He is set to defend his heavyweight title against Anatoly Malykhin who beat the Iranian at ONE: ‘Revolution’. But Bhullar doesn’t think knocking out Aliakbari is much of an achievement,

“He did his job. He did what he was supposed to do against a heavy bag that is Amir Aliakbari.  The guy doesn’t have the skills I have, neither does he have the insides. He doesn’t have the spirit I have inside, the mentality I have.”

Anatoly Malykhin knocks out Amir Aliakbari 3

Fan perspective

It goes to show just how far Aliakbari’s stock has fallen since getting knocked out in the opening round in both his ONE Championship bouts. Bhullar warns that he will provide a far stiffer test to Malykhin than the Iranian did,

“I cut no corners, I go the extra mile, I’m not as stiff as him, and I’m not as stationary as him, so it’s going to be a completely different animal coming at (him). I’m excited to get it on.”

Bhullar also admits he enjoyed seeing the outspoken Iranian knocked out for the second time,

“It was good to see from a fan perspective (because) Aliakbari likes to talk a lot.”

Anatoly Malykhin punches Amir Aliakbari 2

Busted up

But he warns Malykhin that beating him will be much more difficult than beating Aliakbari proved to be,

“I’m not Aliakbari. We see holes in what he has shown, and I’m excited for the challenge to go exploit them.”

Bhullar is also under no doubt as to how the heavyweight title fight, which doesn’t currently have a date, will finish,

“There are various ways it can play out, but I do not feel it’s going to go the distance. I will have my hand raised, and he will be busted up.”