Nikolay Aleksakhin, who signed a contract with the Professional Fighters League a month ago, will make his promotional debut on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Aleksakhin’s opponent is still unknown. He will compete on the first PFL playoff card, which will feature welterweights and women’s lightweights. Aleksakhin did not take part in the PFL regular season, so his bout is expected to be separate from the playoff proceedings. The Russian welterweight, who owns a 23-5 career record, is is currently in the United States for the final stages of his training camp.
"The date of my upcoming fight is Oct. 11. It's going to be a PFL tournament in Las Vegas,” Aleksakhin said. “This is my first time fighting in America. Many points are connected with this — acclimatization, another time zone, a different climate. That's why we decided to come to the USA a month before the fight.”
Aleksakhin is now in the American Top Team gym in Florida where many leading fighters from around the world train, including UFC talents Alexey Oleynik, Andrei Arlovski and Magomed Magomedkerimov.
“The ATT gym has been awarded as the best in the world for the last three years. There are many sparring partners [in my weight class]. We will gain momentum,” he said.
Both Aleksakhin and his manager, Alexander Skaredin, have repeatedly stated that they want to sign a contract with the UFC. However, according to Aleksakhin the PFL is a great opportunity to continue his fighting career.
"The fact that I'm fighting in the U.S. is a new step in my career. Everything is gradual. PFL has very serious fighters, and here they have the [regular season and tournament format]. This is a serious challenge for me, and I want to test myself,” Aleksakhin said. “There are a lot of serious guys in my division. You can't underestimate any of them. Magomed Magomedkerimov is a very good fighter. Now he has a chance to win the second grand prix. But I wouldn’t single out anyone, it makes no difference to me who to fight with. We'll see. Now my key task is to win the upcoming fight.”