“I'm good at cutting weight” - Triple champ Anatoly Malykhin ready to defend any one of his belts

Anatoly Malykhin - Photo by ONE Championship
Anatoly Malykhin - Photo by ONE Championship

ONE heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight MMA world champion 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin of Russia can't wait to get back inside the Circle and defend one of his three golden belts.

The 36-year-old native of Kemerovo is among MMA's most wanted, after becoming a triple champ and ruling three different weight classes in ONE Championship.

He hasn't fought since last March, when he captured the ONE middleweight MMA world title with a technical knockout victory over The Netherlands' Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: Qatar.

That being said, Malykhin says he is open to returning to any of the three weight classes he lords over for his next fight.


Malykhin told ONE Championship in a recent interview:

"I don't feel anything. I'm ready to fight at middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight. Even though I'm a natural heavyweight, I'm good at cutting weight, and I don't see any problems. And people are people - if they talk, it means it's already good."

There is no doubt that Malykhin is one of the most dominant world champions in the game today. And fans can certainly see him in action soon, as 'Sladkiy' has returned to training in Phuket, Thailand, where he is currently based.

What's next for 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin?

Triple champ 'Sladkiy' Anatoly Malykhin is expected to return to action in the second half of 2024. Whether he returns as a heavyweight, a light heavyweight, or a middleweight is anyone's guess.

But there are rumors he is looking to make the first defense of his heavyweight gold soon.

Malykhin successfully unified the ONE heavyweight MMA world title in June of 2023, when he stopped former king Arjan 'Singh' Bhullar to become the undisputed king.

At heavyweight, Malykhin has some really solid options in terms of opponents. There's Iran's Amir Aliakbari, Senegal's Oumar 'Reug Reug' Kane, and BJJ legend Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida, who are in the running to face the Russian.

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Edited by C. Naik
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