“He has nightmares about me” – Anatoly Malykhin says Reinier de Ridder is still haunted by KO loss in their first encounter

Anatoly Malykhin ready to destroy Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: Qatar.
Anatoly Malykhin ready to destroy Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: Qatar.

Two-division ONE world champion Anatoly Malykhin isn’t one to mince his words. The Russian is back to playing his usual mind games ahead of his rematch against Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: Qatar.

‘Sladkiy’ will run it back against ‘The Dutch Knight’ in the main event of the organization’s stacked debut in the region, which broadcasts live from the Lusail Sports Arena on March 1.

After successfully claiming the de Ridder's light heavyweight crown in their first encounter, the Russian behemoth is now looking to become MMA’s first simultaneous three-division world champion.

Before he attempts to steal de Ridder’s maiden ONE gold, the middleweight strap, Anatoly Malykhin thinks that his former foe is still having nightmares from his first-career loss to him. They previously crossed paths at ONE on Prime Video 5 in December 2022.

He told the South China Morning Post:

“I wish him a really good sleep at night because I'm pretty sure he has nightmares about me. I'm pretty sure he sees me knocking him out every day, over and over again, so I wish him a really good rest, and I wish he could sleep better.”

Watch the full interview here:


Relive Anatoly Malykhin’s smashing finish of de Ridder

Heading into their showdown inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, then-two-division king Reinier de Ridder was touted as a favorite to keep his unbeaten record and light heavyweight world title within his possession.

However, Anatoly Malykhin had other plans, as he broke down the Breda native from the opening bell.

Eventually, a massive uppercut, a crushing right hand, and a barrage of hammerfists did him good as he took the win at 4:35 of the opening stanza.

Now chasing three-weight glory, 'Sladkiy' will look to use that victory as a blueprint to deliver another performance for the ages when he meets the Dutch superstar in the main event of ONE 166: Qatar.

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