Anatoly Malykhin made 2022 a year to remember, and he plans to use the next 12 months to unify his ONE Interim Heavyweight World Title.
“Sladkiy” has been chasing his opportunity to solidify his heavyweight status, and he will finally get the chance to do just that against ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar in the main event of ONE Fight Night 8 on Saturday, 25 March, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
This coming March won’t be the first time the duo have been paired up, either. The heavyweight titans were initially scheduled to settle the score at ONE 161 last September, but an injury suffered by the Indian king nixed the bout.
This time around, the contracts have been signed and there is certainly no love lost between “Sladkiy” and “Singh.”
“[When I signed the contract], I felt certain that soon there [would] be a unification of belts, and I [would] become the absolute ONE Heavyweight World Champion,” Malykhin said.
“I believe I already am. However, there was a small technicality left – this fight with Bhullar.
“I was glad to see his name on the contract when I got sent it. He’s already signed contracts three or four times and never showed up to a fight, so we will see what happens this time. The important thing is that he makes an effort to get himself to the Circle.”
Malykhin’s run of form since arriving in ONE has seen him go unblemished, dismissing all but one of his foes inside the first round by thunderous knockout.
In a bid to stay active while Bhullar was on the sidelines throughout 2022, the Russian ruiner last showcased his dominance in December at ONE on Prime Video 5, gaining his fourth promotional knockout in a row to capture the ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship from former two-sport king Reinier de Ridder.
The confidence taken from the blistering streak has only served Malykhin positively, and he expects the same outcome to happen in Singapore.
“Bhullar has no chance at all. I’ll just knock him out. He’ll last until the second round at the most. There is no chance for him to last for five rounds,” Malykhin said.
“My fight with Bhullar is worth watching simply because I will be knocking him out. Everyone loves knockouts. When big boys fall down, [it’s] beautiful.”