By Ross Patterson
Anatoly Malykhin has just become the ONE Heavyweight interim Champion. He dominated the previously undefeated Kirill Grishenko, knocking him out in the second round.
In his amateur career, Malykhin was the 2017 WMMAA World Champion. Since turning professional, he’s gone undefeated with an 11-0 record, 3 of which coming under the ONE Championship banner.
Malykhin has been training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. One of the most respected striking gyms on the planet and home to elite fighters such as Petr Yan. Throughout the fight, Malykhin was consistently connecting with his strikes. Finishing his opponent with a devastating right hook after 8 minutes. The stunning performance earned him a $100,000 bonus.
He will now face the Heavyweight Champion, Arjan Bhullar, aiming to become the undisputed champion. Anatoly said, “He [Bhullar] will definitely not go to the decision of the judges. I would definitely finish him. He doesn’t have that fighter’s spirit.”
Arjan Bhullar has been in a contract dispute with ONE Championship, which was why the interim belt was up for grabs. He has not commented yet whether he will defend his belt against Malykhin.
Malykhin also said, “I feel like he’s [Bhullar] just a lucky champion and I would finish him with my favourite Kimura in the second round.” The mental warfare has already started.
Further down the card, former IMMAF competitor Jihin Radzuan also won her fight on short notice. She managed to edge out a unanimous decision win over Mei Yamaguchi in a catchweight bout (53.5kg).
IMMAF and WMMAA alumni are now challenging for titles at the highest level. Anatoly Malykhin looked like a world-class athlete in this fight and now has an excellent opportunity to become the ONE Championship Heavyweight King.
Image Credit: ONE Championship