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Give him Israel Adesanya or Alex Pereira: Fans react to win of Anatoly Malykhin

LockerRoom Team
02 March 2024

Fans want to see Anatoly Malykhin fighting Alex Pereira or Israel Adesanya. This is after the Russian made history by becoming the first-ever three-division champion at ONE 166.

The MMA fans commented on possible showdowns that Malykhin could have in the UFC including names like Alex Pereira, Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones.

Anatoly "Sladkiy" Malykhin etched his name in MMA history books during the main event of ONE 166: Qatar, held on Friday, March 1. The Russian powerhouse secured a monumental victory over Reinier de Ridder to claim the ONE Middleweight MMA World Championship, making him the first fighter in the sport to achieve World Titles across three different weight classes.

The highly anticipated rematch between Malykhin and De Ridder, following their clash in December 2022 where Malykhin claimed the light heavyweight belt, unfolded in the packed Lusail Sports Arena, marking ONE Championship's milestone on-ground debut in Qatar.

Despite a display of improved stand-up skills by De Ridder in the initial minutes, including a stunning jab that briefly staggered Malykhin, the Russian remained undeterred. Renowned for his ferocious punching power, Malykhin relentlessly pressed forward with thunderous boxing combinations, consistently pinning De Ridder against the Circle Wall and delivering punishing blows to the body and head.

As the bout progressed into the second round, De Ridder attempted to bring the fight to the canvas but struggled to execute takedowns. Fatigue began to set in for the Dutch fighter, evident by the third stanza when Malykhin intensified his onslaught with devastating body shots and a knee to the head.

In a final attempt to gain control, De Ridder resorted to pulling Malykhin into his guard, but the Russian swiftly escaped and resumed his assault. Referee Herb Dean intervened when De Ridder was unable to continue, officially ending the contest at the 1:16 mark of round three.

With this victory, the 36-year-old Malykhin cemented his status as an unprecedented three-division MMA World Champion, adding the ONE Middleweight MMA World Title to his collection alongside the organization's heavyweight and light heavyweight belts. Maintaining his flawless career record of 14-0 with a 100 per cent finishing rate, Malykhin solidified his legacy as one of the sport's greatest fighters.

ALSO READ | Anatoly Malykhin makes history, becomes the first Three-Division Champion

Acknowledging Malykhin's remarkable performance, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong awarded him a well-deserved US$50,000 performance bonus, further highlighting the magnitude of his achievement.

What do you think of the possibility? Let us know in the comments below.

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