Before reading any further, ask yourself "What kind of a fight do I enjoy most watching?"
While MMA coinnosseurs might appreciate a tactical fight, skillful jiujitsu and powerful wall wrestling, it's obvious what the masses love - big, jaw-dropping knockouts.
Finland's finest, Aleksi Mäntykivi (13-5-0) has it all. In his last five bouts (4-1) his most enduring opponent has made it only as far as to the start of the second round. And mind you, these are not just some late replacements Mäntykivi has beaten. For instance, current Cage Warriors champion Søren Bak fell victim to Mäntykivi's knockout power in the first round two and half years ago. In fact, Mäntykivi is still the only opponent to ever beat Bak (13-1-0).
Aleksi Mäntykivi is a mild-mannered Finn outside the cage, but when the fight begins, there is no stopping this machine of violence before his opponent lies unconscious on the floor. Photo: Jarno Nurminen
The Finnish light weight is a very entertaining fighter and often times the crowd find themselves on the edges of their seats.
Mäntykivi is no stranger to fighting in hostile territory either. In his last five fights the 25-year-old been starring in major promotions in Finland (Cage), Russia (M-1 Global) and England (Cage Warriors). In his last bout in April, against the previously unbeaten brazilian Kaynan Kruschewsky (9-1-0), Mäntykivi did what he promised: he knocked his opponent out cold in the first round. The brazilian fell stiff to the floor and the sold out Helsinki House of Culture crowd went absolutely bonkers. It is rare to see such a perfect knockout and the beauty of the well-placed right hand was almost poetic.
Mäntykivi literally carries one-punch knockout power in his hands. Photo: Jarno Nurminen
The Helsinki-based fighter has suffered from some injuries, but still boasts an impressive 9-2-0 record in past five years of his career. His latest loss came against the bright Cage Warriors prospect Jack Grant (15-5-0) a year ago, after rocking Grant with some heavy shots first himself.
Mäntykivi's future seems bright and one can easily see the development as a fighter in each of his bouts. What used to be an aggressive all-in type of a fighter has now evolved into a deadly assassin with weapons in each element of a fight. Mäntykivi's hands are like pump-action shotguns - fatal at a close range and hard to evade. His kicks reap opponents like a scythe, and should you end up in the floor with the Finn, you better hide your neck fast before he rips your head off.
Mäntykivi tenderizing that brazilian tenderloin before the referee stops the fight at Cage 46, Finland.
You can follow Aleksi Mäntykivi's path to the top of MMA world in social media as follows: