At this stage, any fighter going up against Ben Askren knows he is going to be an underdog. The odds are against Nikolay Aleksakhin ahead of ONE: Global Rivals, but the Russian believes he can register a win that would probably go down as the greatest upset in the history of Asian MMA.
Aleksakhin has had plenty of time to prepare for Friday night’s title fight in Manila and he says he has spotted some holes in his opponent’s game.
“His weakness is his striking, he doesn’t use his legs or his hands. I know he’s an Olympic level wrestler with great technique, but I think I will win this fight.”
The show at the Mall of Asia Arena is being billed as Global Rivals because it pits the U.S. against Russia. Askren’s had a few choice words for the challenger and Aleksakhin is looking forwards to ramming them back down his throat.
“I think trash talking is very popular in the USA (but) in Russia if you say something you must do it. On fight night I will give him an answer for his words.”
To prepare for this fight he’s been training with the best pound-for-pound fighter Russia has ever produced. Aleksakhin is a student of Fedor Emelianenko and credits the former Pride heavyweight champion for transforming him into a title contender.
“When I was a child, I saw Fedor fight and I wanted to be like Fedor. My life changed when I was in Fedor Emelienaneko’s team and I saw how he trained. I started to see it as a professional sport.”
Just like his hero and mentor, Aleksakhin trains in Combat Sambo ….View full article