Anatoly Malykhin says he is serious about challenging Christian Lee for welterweight belt: “I wasn't joking”

Anatoly Malykhin and Christian Lee - Photo by ONE Championship
Anatoly Malykhin and Christian Lee - Photo by ONE Championship

Reigning and undisputed ONE heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight MMA world champion 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin of Russia is a history-making machine, and the 36-year-old superstar has another wild idea.

He wants Christian Lee's lightweight MMA belt.

Now, winning three MMA world titles across three different divisions and holding them all simultaneously is already a seemingly impossible feat. But becoming a simultaneous four-division titleholder? That's god tier.

Malykhin was in Bangkok, Thailand this week to partake in the ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video fight week festivities, and 'Sladkiy' caught up with reporters on the scene.

When asked about a potential showdown with Lee for the welterweight MMA belt, Malykhin took a serious tone. He told ONE Championship:

"I wasn't joking. I'm saying this completely seriously. If the welterweight champion is interested in a fight, then I'm ready. I'm confident that I can make this weight. I'll put on a show, but I wouldn't defend it afterwards - it's a one-off champion vs. champion outing, a big show and a big fight. And I would vacate that belt right away."

Whether or not this fight pushes through remains to be seen, but it appears that at the very least, Malykhin is ready to push himself to the limit to try to make welterweight, if the opportunity presents itself.

What's next for 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin?

After a much-needed vacation, triple champ 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin is back in Thailand and back in training, working hard for a potential return toward the end of the year.

The three division king has the pick of the litter across heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight. But the 36-year-old's most compelling options remain in the highest weight class.

A showdown with surging Iranian wrestler Amir Aliakbari is on the table for 'Sladkiy', as well as a brewing showdown with Senegalese star Oumar 'Reug Reug' Kane.

Stay tuned to Sportskeeda MMA for all the latest news and updates on Anatoly Malykhin's next fight.

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Edited by C. Naik
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