“She will be able to win the belt” - Anatoly Malykhin believes Natalia Diachkova can gain ONE gold if she’s in ‘her best shape’

Anatoly Malykhin (left) and Natalia Diachkova (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship
Anatoly Malykhin (left) and Natalia Diachkova (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship

Reigning three-division MMA world champion Anatoly Malykhin is rooting for his compatriot Natalia Diachkova to get the victory in her world title clash with defending ONE strawweight Muay Thai world champion Smilla Sundell on May 3 at ONE Fight Night 22.

Diachkova's world title attempt will go down inside the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

During a recent interview with ONE Championship, Malykhin said 'Karelian Lynx' must be at her absolute best to give herself a chance of beating 'The Hurricane.'

'Sladkiy' said:

"If Diachkova is able to go through all these issues [any negative impact from her training], and come out in her best shape, then of course she will be able to win the belt."

The 29-year-old Russian challenger is fresh off a first-round knockout of Chellina Chirino in her previous fight at ONE Friday Fights 55 in March 2024 to officially book a date with Sundell for the 26-pound golden belt.

Before beating Chirino, Diachkova already had three wins in ONE Championship after taking down Hannah Brady, Lena Nocker, and Dokmaipa Fairtex.

ONE Fight Night 22 is available live and free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America in U.S. primetime on May 3.

Anatoly Malykhin says fighting Aung La N Sang is not his top priority right now

After his crowning glory as a three-division king in March at ONE 166: Qatar, Anatoly Malykhin doubled down on his responsibility as a world champion in three different weight classes.

Anatoly Malykhin wants to be an active titleholder by defending all three of his 26-pound golden belts against top contenders in the heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight divisions.

Among the top challengers who are touted to be next in line for him is former ONE light heavyweight and middleweight MMA world champion Aung La N Sang.

However, the Golden Team representative stated that he doesn't have much desire to fight the 'Burmese Python' right now.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now