Heavyweight veteran Tyler King has a fight on Sunday against Amir Aliakbari, and he plans on proving a major point.
King (12-5) fights Aliakbari (6-1) as part of the first round of the grand prix tournament at Rizin FF 6 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan, near Tokyo.
The fight is one King says he asked for because he wanted to prove his opponent isn’t any kind of up-and-comer to be watched out for. When you throw out words like “fugazi,” you usually mean business.
“This is the fight that I pursued,” King recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “This guy – he’s a fugazi. I want to expose him. I’m being a little harsh, but you look at a guy like that and he hasn’t been tested. Every time he’s been tested, he’s either folded or does nothing but go for a takedown, gets a crucifix and finishes it out. He’s not an exciting fighter and he hasn’t fought any tough competition.”
Those who want to play devil’s advocate with King likely would mention that Aliakbari is coming off a win over Geronimo dos Santos, a veteran of nearly 60 fights and 39 pro wins. And he has a win over UFC veteran Heath Herring this past December for Rizin FF. Two nights later, he fought Mirko Filipovic – the only loss of his career.
King is coming off a 98-second TKO loss Keith Bell at CES MMA 41 in January, which snapped a three-fight winning streak that included victories for Bellator and WSOF.
But in King’s mind, Aliakbari is far from all that, at least compared to him. So he went to work trying to get the fight, even if that meant starting stuff on Twitter.
“Three months ago, people say I started this Twitter beef or Twitter war,” he said. “There’s no Twitter war. This is a fight I wanted and pursued. This is a fight I made happen. This fight happened because of me. Amir hasn’t done anything.”
And on Sunday, King plans to keep him in that category of having not done anything, at least against him. When he’s done, he plans on continuing to stake his claim among the heavyweight ranks.
“Now I’m going to go out there and take what’s rightfully mine and assume my spot among the upper echelon of heavyweights.”
For more on Rizin FF 6, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.