Raymond Daniels will square off with Rafael Aghayev at Karate Combat 37.
The battle of striking icons is set for December 17 from The Backlot at Universal Studios in Florida.
Daniels, who holds wins over Stephen Thompson and Michael Page, believes his skills are on a different level compared to that of his opponent.
“He’s only competed in his own discipline. He’s been the best at it, but he’s never stepped outside his own world. You can be the biggest dog in your own pound but when you finally step outside you realize it’s a big world out there and there’s a lot of big dogs,” Daniels said. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I am the greatest and I’m willing to put my name versus his name. If he wants people to continue calling him the greatest, he shouldn’t fight me. Fighting somebody of my caliber is a big risk for him.”
Aghayev responded, “I don’t like to talk too much, I do my talking in the fight. All I will say is that I have won many titles and championships in my career and I am not finished yet. As long as I am alive, I want to be No. 1 in whatever I am doing. I respect all my opponents, no matter what they say. I treat everyone with respect, because first and foremost I have respect for myself.
“I am always pleased when people describe me as the best ever, but there are no tricks or secrets in my success – it’s all because of hard work and hard training. I am still working as hard as ever and I am still fully focused on being No. 1. I look forward to meeting Raymond Daniels in December.”
The interim Karate Combat welterweight title will also be on the line, with the winner to meet Josh Quayhagen in 2023.
“This is one of those all-time wishlist fights in our sport, on par with Mayweather vs Pacquiao. Rafael Aghayev is the best competitor of all time in Olympic karate and Raymond Daniels holds the same status across a variety of disciplines. Nobody was ever able to make this fight happen – until now,” said Adam Kovacs, Karate Combat President.