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Gold and Grand Prix glory at stake as Evgeny Goncharov takes on Anton Vyazigin

The bitter Moscow midwinter sees two heavyweight giants emerge to settle old scores, as Evgeny Goncharov and Anton Vyazigin face off for heavyweight glory and a place in the ACA Grand Prix final.

Sitting champion Goncharov is on a five-fight win streak, including avenging his only loss in ACA, picking up a hard-fought win over Mukhamad Vakhaev in 2022.

The architype Russian heavyweight, Goncharov’s barrel chest and heavy punches have brought him grinding victories over American heavyweight Tony Johnson Jr and former UFC fighter Daniel Omielanczuk, to take his overall ACA record to 6-1 with one no contest.

Standing in his way is a familiar face, Anton Vyazigin lost a unanimous decision to Goncharov back in 2020 and following that result took a three-year hiatus from MMA.

That hiatus ended in 2023 as Vyazigin returned to action defeating Tony Johnson Jr by unanimous decision and booking his place in this semi-final matchup with Goncharov.

Vyazigin utilises his massive 6’5” frame to take his opponents down and maul them on the canvas, delivering hellish punishment with his right fist and elbow as previous opponents Wagner Prado and Geronimo dos Santos know all too well.

A matchup between two Russian beasts will be decided on who can impose their game plan best.

Goncharov will look to make up for his size disadvantage by utilising the clinch, putting all of his 240lb frame against Vyazigin to drain his energy, before tattooing him with punches up close.

Vyazigin will look to use his tall frame to his advantage, although he normally looks to initiate grappling sequences himself, he would be wise to stay at distance and use his three-inch reach advantage to strike with Goncharov on the outside.

The winner of this contest will advance to the ACA heavyweight Grand Prix final and leave the cage with the ACA heavyweight title.

ACA: 170 takes place on Friday 9th February and is live from their website from 5pm GMT.

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