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Arjan Bhullar And Anatoly Malykhin Scheduled For ONE World Title Unification

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon10 January 2023

After months of negotiations, ONE Championship will finally feature its biggest heavyweight fight in history.

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar returns to the Circle to clash with undefeated ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin at ONE Fight Night 8 on Saturday, 25 March.

The two have pulled no punches in their war of words on social media, which will only make for a more combustible main event with the biggest prize on the line.

ALSO READ | ONE Championship names Anatoly Malykhin as MMA Athlete of the Year 2022

Bhullar was last seen in the Circle at ONE: DANGAL in May 2021 when he dethroned MMA star Brandon “The Truth” Vera to earn the title with a TKO in the second frame. 

Since that fateful night, “Singh” hasn’t competed, leaving many to believe the Canadian-Indian was holding the division up after contract talks began to falter.

In his absence, Malykhin soared, making a name for himself in the heavyweight division with win after win. 

The Russian slugger dispatched every opponent in his way during his ONE tenure, but 2022 saw a landmark year for “Sladkiy.” 

Following two first-round demolition jobs, Malykhin cemented his position with a third straight promotional knockout against Kirill Grishenko to earn the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Title at ONE: BAD BLOOD last February.

Malykhin has been dead-set on facing Bhullar since joining ONE and was originally booked to me his adversary at ONE 161 last September. However, “Singh” withdrew due to injury.

ALSO READ | Reinier De Ridder releases statement about his loss to Anatoly Malykhin

While Bhullar remained absent, Malykhin adjusted his focus to make his position in ONE that much stronger. 

Last December, Malykhin took on the largest foe of his career – then-unbeaten two division ONE World Champion Reinier de Ridder – at ONE on Prime Video 5.

The Russian powerhouse stormed through “The Dutch Knight,” unleashing a first-round knockout of De Ridder to take the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title in undeniable fashion.

With 2023 underway, ONE’s 2022 MMA Athlete of the Year has his eyes on becoming the undeniable heavyweight king now that the contract has been signed and the date has been set for his highly anticipated matchup with Bhullar. 

Malykhin has had no qualms in stating that Bhullar has been ducking him for some time, whereas the champion sees “Sladkiy” as easy competition.

The collision on 25 March is a contest over 12 months in the making and should deliver nothing short of high octane action once the two gargantuan battlers collide.


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