ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter is set to compete on the main card of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) event in Liverpool, the United Kingdom on May 27.
Makwan Amirkhani, a 29-year-old Kurd born in Kermanshah in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojihilat), will fight American Jason Knight in the featherweight (145-pound) division on Sunday.
Amirkhani, who fights out of Turku, Finland, holds a professional MMA record of 13 wins and three losses (13-3-0) and is considered a submission specialist, according to the UFC’s official website.
The Kurdish fighter moved to Finland with his family during the Iran-Iraq war and has been involved in the sport since an early age, first as a competitive wrestler for the Finnish national team before competing as an MMA fighter.
The 29-year-old, known as “Mr. Finland,” recorded the fastest win in UFC featherweight history when he knocked out opponent Andy Ogle after eight seconds of the first round on his debut at Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena on Jan. 24, 2015.
The win earned him a “Performance of the Night” honor and ultimately recognition as one of the UFC’s promising talents in the 145-pound division.
In an interview with MMA Hour after the fight, Amirkhani said the victory was “a huge step” in his career.
“I didn’t expect this. I knew that it was going to be a short fight, but I didn’t know that I would make this kind of move, that everybody will know me. I’m happy,” he stated.
After the Ogle fight, Amirkhani went on to win his next two UFC bouts, including a submission win against Masio Fullen on June 20, 2015, and a unanimous decision victory against Mike Wilkinson on Feb. 27, 2016.
His last fight was against Arnold Allen on March 18, 2017, which ended in a split decision loss.
The Kurdish fighter, who has been away from the Octagon for over a year, will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Sunday.