Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) 109: Haratyk vs Strus – Staff Predictions

A promotional graphic for ACA 109: Haratyk vs. Strus. Credit: ACA.

Wednesday, top Russian MMA promotion Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) returns to Lodz, Poland, with a ten-fight event headlined by two of their host country’s native competitors.

ACA 109: Haratyk vs Strus is set to broadcast at 3 PM ET through ACA’s pay-per-view platform at a price of roughly $5.45 USD.

For your pre-event perusal, several of MMA-Prospects.com’s staff writers offered predictions on the event’s main card.

Those, and the full ACA 109 fight card, can be found below:

  • Rafał Haratyk (12-3-1) vs. Piotr Strus (15-5-2) – middleweight main event
  • Daniel Omielańczuk (23-9-1) vs. Tomas Pakutinskas (19-12-3) – heavyweight co-main event
  • Nikola Dipchikov (18-7) vs. Goran Reljić (19-8) – middleweight bout
  • Karol Celiński (17-9-1) vs. Luke Barnatt (15-8) – light heavyweight bout
  • Łukasz Kopera (9-3) vs. Aurel Pîrtea (20-11) – lightweight bout
  • Lom-Ali Eskiev (16-5) vs. Omer Cankardesler (12-5-2) – featherweight bout
  • Kamil Oniszczuk (7-0) vs. Mindaugas Verzbickas (16-7-2) – welterweight bout
  • Adam Palasz (5-0) vs. Dmitry Poberezhets (24-5-1) – heavyweight bout
  • Levan Makashvili (16-3-1) vs. Roman Dik (8-3) – lightweight bout
  • Vitezslav Rajnoch (7-3) vs. Christian Draxler (17-6) – lightweight bout

Rafał Haratyk (12-3-1) vs. Piotr Strus (15-5-2)

In the main event of ACA 109, two of Poland’s own will face of in Lodz. Rafał Haratyk (12-3-1) will look to earn the biggest victory of his career against former ACA middleweight title challenger Piotr Strus (15-5-2).

Picking Haratyk:

  • Joseph Shaw, Contributor
    • “He’s on a five-fight win streak,” wrote Shaw, “coming off a nice win over Arbi Aguev (33-9), which I like as Aguev is very experienced and has a good record. I think Rafal will beat Piotr Strus by unaminous decision.”

Picking Strus:

  • Ryan Fortune, Contributor
    • “I think Strus can make this contest a grueling fight,” wrote Fortune, “and if he does, I favour him to win a decision. I believe the bout could be very close, however.”
  • Shawn Bitter, Contributor
    • “I’m leaning Strus because I think he can make it an ugly fight against the cage,” wrote Bitter. “Haratyk is sloppy, and I think the physical advantages of Strus will be too much.”
  • Michael Fiedel, Editor
    • “I believe that Strus’ big-fight experience and greater strength of opposition will be the deciding factor in this Poland vs. Poland bout. Simply put, Strus appears to be the cleaner, more composed fighter – a necessity in a fight that could turn out as gritty as this one.”

Daniel Omielańczuk (23-9-1) vs. Tomas Pakutinskas (19-12-3)

ACA 109’s co-main event features a bout between ex-UFC heavyweight Daniel Omielańczuk (23-9-1) and Lithuanian finisher Tomas Pakutinskas (19-12-3).

Picking Omielańczuk:

  • Joseph Shaw, Contributor
    • “He’s fought better opposition, and has good wins over Dennis Smolderov (14-7) and Evgeny Erokhin (21-7). I think he will finish Tomas in Round 2,” wrote Shaw.
  • Shawn Bitter, Contributor
    • “Pakutinskas has looked good lately, but against poor competition,” wrote Bitter. “Omielanczuk is far more proven and is on a streak as well, beating some good fighters.”
  • Ryan Fortune, Contributor
    • “Omielańczuk has fought the much better competition as of late compared to Pakutinskas,” wrote Fortune. “I think the UFC veteran gets the job done in quick fashion here.”
  • Michael Fiedel, Editor
    • “Much like Tuesday’s Josh Parisian-Chad Johnson affair, this fight sees a far more experienced heavyweight face a relatively untested knockout threat. I see the fight going largely the same way, with Omielańczuk having his hand raised in Poland.”

Goran Reljić (19-8) vs. Nikola Dipchikov (18-7)

In this middleweight bout, 36-year-old UFC and KSW veteran Goran Reljić (19-8) looks to continue his four-fight winning streak against Bulgarian 30-year-old Nikola Dipchikov (18-7), who is riding a three-fight unbeaten streak of his own.

Picking Reljić:

  • Ryan Fortune, Contributor
    • “Reljić dominated Miro Jurkovic (10-3) in his last outing – who just fought profiled prospect Andreas Gustafsson Berg at Brave CF 39 – and I think he can get the job done again here against the heavy hitter Dipchikov,” wrote Fortune. “Reljić to edge out a decision for me.”

Picking Dipchikov:

  • Joseph Shaw, Contributor
    • “As this fight is at middleweight, I think this will benefit Nikolai as he’s fighting at his natural weight. Reljiić will have to cut more weight; it could drain him. I think Nikolai could stop him in Round 3,” wrote Shaw.
  • Shawn Bitter, Contributor
    • “In a fight I think will stay standing, I believe Dipchikov is the better striker,” wrote Bitter. “He faster and has a big power advantage. Reljić is easily his with his low stance so I predict Dipchikov to catch Reljić at some point.”
  • Michael Fiedel, Editor
    • “While Reljić has been there and done that, so to speak, I agree with my colleagues that the powerful Dipchikov (who has won 14 of his 18 wins by knockout) has the age in a standing fight, which I believe we’ll see.”

Karol Celiński (17-9-1) vs. Luke Barnatt (15-8)

In this trilogy match between Poland’s Karol Celiński (17-9-1) and England’s Luke Barnatt (15-8), both fighters will look to secure bragging rights and begin their climbs to the top of the ACA light heavyweight division.

Picking Barnatt:

  • Joseph Shaw, Contributor
    • “I know he has a lot of loses but I think his experience will get him through this fight and win by split decision,” wrote Shaw.
  • Shawn Bitter, Contributor
    • “He already knocked out Celiński just a little of a year ago. Don’t see much of a change since it wasn’t long ago, and the fact Celiński was finished again recently and is 40-years-old,” wrote Bitter.
  • Ryan Fortune, Contributor
    • “Celiński’s 40-years-old and has been finished in three of his last four outings – one of those being against Barnatt,” wrote Fortune. “I think Barnett repeats what happened at ACA 96 and wins the trilogy.”
  • Michael Fiedel, Editor
    • “To hear Barnatt tell it, he’s already 2-0 against Celiński, whom he lost to in their first bout by majority decision. With age, power, and the most recent fight between the two – a knockout for Barnatt – on his side, Barnatt is my pick here.”

Łukasz Kopera (9-3) vs. Aurel Pîrtea (20-11)

In the first bout of the main card, former FEN title challenger Łukasz Kopera (9-3) will take on Romania’s Aurel Pîrtea (20-11) in a lightweight clash.

Picking Kopera:

  • Joseph Shaw, Contributor
    • “Kopera, because I think he has a better record is more reliable to go with compared to Aurel Pîrtea, who’s 20-11,” wrote Shaw.
  • Ryan Fortune, Contributor
    • “Big test for Kopera against an MMA veteran in Pîrtea,” wrote Fortune. “I believe the Polishman can get the job done and avoid getting submitted to take home a decision victory.”

Picking Pîrtea:

  • Shawn Bitter, Contributor
    • “This is the toughest fight to call in my opinion. I think Kopera will do good early on but eventually, gas out, and Pîrtea will take over in the later rounds,” wrote Bitter.
  • Michael Fiedel, Editor
    • “Pîrtea has a wide margin in the experience category, facing divisional elite Alexander Sarnavskiy (37-7) in his most recent bout. Pîrtea, in my opinion, could wear out the ACA debutant and score a submission late in the fight.”