With some 26 professional contests already under his belt, tagging Nikolay Aleksakhin (21-5) doesn’t exactly fit the usual “prospect” mold. But after downing three consecutive UFC veterans, the Russian believes he’s reaching new heights in his career.
Now he’s hoping to find the best suitor for his services.
“My Fight Nights Global contract expires in November, and I had a lot of talks with scouts,” Aleksakhin told MMAjunkie in his native Russian. “Absolute Championship Berkut, Russian Cagefighting Championship, M-1 Gloabl and ONE Championship have approached me. I’m still thinking. Depends on who will offer the best terms.”
Aleksakhin, 27, certainly boasts an impressive career record, and his current four-fight winning streak includes victories over Elias Silverio, Dominique Steele, Michael Graves and Yasubey Enomoto. However, he’s come up short in his biggest opportunities, including, most notably, an April 2016 bout with Ben Askren.
But Aleksakhin believes he’s made strides since that moment and is now ready to compete with the best in the world. He credits his team, Rati, with helping him develop his game.
“Rati can be translated from Russian as ‘army,’” Aleksakhin said. “Rati is an archaic synonym of ‘army.’ It was used in Russia in the middle ages. Naming the team with this word is a way to show respect for traditions and bravery of our ancestors.
“A lot of great fighters are in Rati – for instance Evgeniy Ignatiev, who won his most recent fight in Moscow on Oct. 19, or Nikita Chistyakov, who is featured in RCC 4, Oct. 27, where he is to face Kevin Petshi. Also, we’ve got Alexander Peduson, who’s fighting at ACB 90 on Nov. 10. I mean, there are literally a bunch of great and – most importantly – active fighters in Rati. We’re trying to be recognized as the best MMA team in Russia.”
For now, Aleksakhin is still the most notable name among his teammates, and he is still in the process of developing a reputation on the international scene. But he believes that opportunity will soon present itself. He’s not ruling out any possibilities, including a potential spot with the sport’s biggest promotion.
“I have beaten UFC fighters,” Aleksakhin said. “And the contract with UFC? I will leave that with no comment.”
- Odds are out for Bellator's heavyweight grand prix final, and there's a massive favorite
- Is Gordon Ryan the world's best grappler?
- Let it go: 5 MMA things we're better off leaving behind
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Russian prospect Nikolay Aleksakhin eyes big opportunities in upcoming free agency