“I will have my hand raised and he will be busted up” - Arjan Bhullar sends ominous warning to Anatoly Malykhin

Arjan Bhullar (left), Anatoly Malykhin (right)
Arjan Bhullar (left), Anatoly Malykhin (right)

The future of the ONE heavyweight division looks promising, especially with Indian superstar Arjan Bhullar leading the pack of talented heavy hitters. While Arjan Bhullar has been quietly waiting for the first challenger for his ONE heavyweight world title to emerge, a contender has emerged.

Undefeated Russian Anatoly Malykhin was recently identified as the top contender for the heavyweight throne. Malykhin scored a scintillating knockout victory over Amir Aliakbari last Friday in Singapore at the ONE: Revolution event to claim his right to challenge for the title.

Before the bout, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong raised the stakes by announcing it was an official title eliminator, and Anatoly Malykhin did not let the opportunity slip. Malykhin finished Aliakbari emphatically in the first round, setting the stage for a clash with Arjan Bhullar.

The ONE heavyweight king acknowledged Malykhin as a formidable opponent but claimed the Russian would fall short in his quest for the belt. Previewing his fight with Malykhin, Bhullar said:

“I have filled in the gaps [in my game] that potentially I don't think he has because, you know, everything is going well for him – and I'm just going to leave it at that for now. But I do think he's a formidable opponent and his record shows that. I'm excited for the challenge. I do not feel it’s going to go the distance. I will have my hand raised and he will be busted up.”

Arjan Bhullar captured the heavyweight strap earlier this year after dethroning longtime champion Brandon' The Truth' Vera. The victory saw Arjan Bhullar become the first and only MMA fighter of Indian descent to win a world title in a major MMA organization.

Arjan Bhullar set for first title defense against Anatoly Malykhin

Arjan Bhullar will get the chance to further stamp his legacy if he can defend his title successfully for the first time against Malykhin. Talking about the Russian's undefeated record, Bhullar said:

“Anatoly has a 10-0 record, very similar to mine. I had that ‘0’ a few years ago, and so I know exactly how he feels. Even the fight, when I ended up losing, I was winning every second in that fight. There is a way he's going to carry himself because [he is undefeated], but there's a way I'm going to carry myself because I'm not too far off from being undefeated myself,” Arjan Bhullar said.

The lone setback of Arjan Bhullar's stellar career came in 2018 when he lost via omoplata to Adam Wieczorek. He knows exactly how it feels to lose, which Malykhin has yet to experience. Arjan Bhullar believes he learned immensely following that loss, and his record certainly shows it.

Arjan Bhullar has since won four consecutive fights, including the historic victory over Vera to capture ONE Championship gold. According to Bhullar, that's going to be the difference that will propel him to another victory over his next opponent.

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Edited by Avinash Tewari
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