ONE interim heavyweight world champion Anatoly Malykhin believes he will knock out two-division world champion Reinier de Ridder if they meet inside the ONE Championship circle.
De Ridder recently defended his middleweight world title against Malykhin’s Tiger Muay Thai teammate, Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159. He beat the Russian juggernaut with an inverted-triangle choke that sent shockwaves within the MMA community.
Impressed by De Ridder’s work on a formidable opponent, Malykhin gave ‘The Dutch Knight’ the praise he deserved. However, in the same sentence, Malykhin reminded the Dutchman that if he intends to chase after the heavyweight belt, he will need more than a black belt in jiu-jitsu.
He explained to ONE Championship:
“If I hit him the way he hit Vitaly, he’s unlikely to remember anything about his jiu-jitsu skills. Maybe later after the knockout when his team tries to bring him back to life, he might remember that he is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. But overall, he is not a bad fighter. He has a record of 16-0, which is impressive. He is a jiu-jitsu fighter, but this is MMA – let’s see how he adjusts.”
Anatoly Malykhin has an unbeaten record of 11 straight wins and no losses. He is known for combining his wrestling and grappling knowledge with boxing, which makes him one of the most dangerous knockout artists in the division. With a lot of weapons to choose from, Malykhin is convinced De Ridder is not up to par.
Although nothing is set in stone yet, a heavyweight world title match may likely happen if De Ridder successfully defends his middleweight world title against Russia’s Shamil Abdulaev on Oct 21. But until then, Anatoly Malykhin has nothing but time to make his own plans.
Check out Malykhin's debut fight inside the circle below:
TMT teammate Fabricio Andrade, frustrated about cancelled heavyweight bout between Anatoly Malykhin and Arjan Bhullar
Anatoly Malykhin was looking forward to unifying the heavyweight world titles on September 29 at ONE 161. The bout was unfortunately canceled yet again after ONE heavyweight world champion Arjan Bhullar pulled out due to an injury.
Bhullar has been accused of “ducking” Malykhin many times before and with the convenient injury weeks before their showdown, it’s only going to fuel this speculation further.
Fabricio Andrade, who’s got his own world title match to prepare for against ONE bantamweight king John Lineker, said he can’t help but feel frustrated for his Tiger Muay Thai teammate, Malykhin, saying:
“Man, it’s super frustrating for everybody, and I cannot imagine being in the position that he is right now. Anatoly is a very hardworking fighter, you know? The guy has been training to fight Bhullar for months and months, spending time, money, effort, everything to fight the guy, and the guy just doesn’t want to fight him.