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“There is real hostility” - ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong says bad blood will spill between Vera and Aliakbari

Brandon Vera (left) and Amir Aliakbari (right). [Photos ONE Championship]
Brandon Vera (left) and Amir Aliakbari (right) [Photos: ONE Championship]

Brandon Vera will finally have his match against Amir Aliakbari, and ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong is expecting fireworks from the two giants at ONE 164.

In an interview with CNN Sports Desk, Sityodtong said that Aliakbari has been yapping at Vera since arriving at the promotion in early 2021 and he feels Vera wants to put an end to the trash talk.

Chatri Sityodtong added that Vera, who was the ONE heavyweight world champion at the time, definitely heard Aliakbari and that the pair’s match on December 3 at Mall of Asia Arena will end the beef between the two:

“Amir Aliakbari came into ONE, disrespecting Brandon Vera, who was a champion at the time. There is real hostility. And I think the Filipino fans [want this one because] obviously Brandon Vera is a superstar. Like I said in my segment, I was very surprised that Brandon took the fight right away. He's a dangerous opponent, he's a very dangerous opponent, he is not a shoo-in.”

Aliakbari is coming off an impressive second-round knockout of former world title contender Mauro Cerilli at ONE on Prime Video 1 this past August.

Vera, meanwhile, is a heavyweight pioneer in the promotion having become the inaugural ONE heavyweight world champion when he defeated Paul Cheng for the strap at ONE: Spirit of Champions in December 2015.

The Filipino-American star then held the gold until May 2021 when he lost to current ONE heavyweight world champion Arjan Bhullar at ONE: Dangal in May 2021.

Catch the whole interview below:

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Chatri Sityodtong expects tough task ahead for Vera

While Brandon Vera is a former heavyweight division, Chatri Sityodtong feels that Aliakbari will be a tough challenge for him.

Aliakbari is a versatile fighter capable of using his ground game to complement the heavy artillery that he has on his hands. That versatility was on full display during his victory against Cerilli at ONE on Prime Video 1.

Shooting for a quick takedown, Aliakbari immediately took top position and proceeded to bludgeon Cerilli with sharp elbows to score the finish.

Chatri Sityodtong said in the same interview:

“Amir Aliakbari comes to bang. He's obviously a world championship wrestler, having won the world championship in wrestling, but he's also a dangerous KO striker, a heavyweight KO fighter. This is something every Filipino is going to love."

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Edited by Aziel Karthak
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