UFC inks Aliakbari, heavyweight with doping past
- Jan-Jaap Abbink
The UFC has signed a decorated former world champion wrestler with a sketchy past.
Amir Aliakbari, one of the top unsigned heavyweights in the world, announced the news Saturday on his Instagram page. UFC officials confirmed with JJA Sport Studio that Aliakbari penned a deal, following a report from Brazilian outlet Combate.
Aliakbari, 31, has won two wrestling world championships, however the latter in 2013 was stripped after a second failed drug test. The Iran native was kept out of the 2012 Summer Olympics due to a previous doping violation. The second offense led the international wrestling body, United World Wrestling, to ban Aliakbari for life.
In MMA, Aliakbari has compiled a 10-1 record, with the only loss coming to legend Mirko Cro Cop under the Rizin banner in 2016. Most recently, Aliakbari beat UFC veteran Daniel Omielanczuk and Shelton Graves with the ACA promotion (formerly ACB) in Russia. He has won five straight.
Under the UFC anti-doping policy, any fighter who has a past doping violation must be in the USADA drug-testing pool for six months and may be required to pass two drug tests before making his or her UFC debut.