Anatoly Malykhin Praises Natalia Diachkova And Dmitry Menshikov Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 22

Reinier de Ridder Anatoly Malykhin ONE 166 14

Three-division ONE MMA World Champion Anatoly “Sladky” Malykhin expects to see his Russian compatriots shine at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video in Bangkok, Thailand.

Topped by a massive World Title fight and featuring two of Russia’s most dangerous strikers, the highly anticipated event will go down in U.S. primetime this Friday, May 3.

In the main event, Natalia “Karelian Lynx” Diachkova will challenge teenage sensation Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title.

Earlier in the evening, surging knockout artist Dmitry Menshikov will square off with Thai fan favorite Sinsamut “Aquaman” Klinmee in a high-stakes lightweight Muay Thai tilt.

An avid fight fan himself, Malykhin recently spoke to about how he expects Diachkova and Menshikov to perform.

‘Diachkova Is A Very Dangerous Fighter’

“Sladky” is impressed by what he’s seen from Diachkova so far in ONE – three first-round knockouts across four nearly flawless victories.

With that in mind, he says “Karelian Lynx” has all the skills required to end Sundell’s reign over the women’s strawweight Muay Thai division:

“Diachkova is a very dangerous fighter. She punches well, she is physically very strong, and she is mentally charged. My wife follows her closely and predicts that she will become the champion.

“This fight will be a good test for her. She will face a strong opponent – Smilla Sundell. We will be there with cheers and prayers.”

While he recognizes that Diachkova possesses the physical tools needed to be a ONE World Champion, Malykhin says the key to her success will be a proper mindset.

After all, with three golden belts in his trophy case, he knows a thing or two about winning.

“Sladkiy” explained:

“Of course, she has all the necessary skills, but the main thing is to know how to use them. The most important thing in a fight, besides preparation, is to have a good mindset. All fighters possess excellent qualities – they have strength, endurance, and a fighter’s spirit.

“But not all fighters can use these qualities on the day of the fight. A lot of people burn out, they start to get sick. If Diachkova is able to go through all these issues and come out in her best shape, then of course she will be able to win the belt.”

‘Menshikov Is A Better Striker Than Sinsamut’

Malykhin has been equally impressed by Dmitry Menshikov.

Although Menshikov fell to current ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel in his promotional debut, he’s since scored two straight first-round knockouts to put himself right back in the World Title picture.

“Sladky” is particularly excited to see Menshikov fight his way back toward a shot at gold because they both hail from the Kuzbass region of Russia – an area known to produce some of the planet’s most feared fighters.

Malykhin explained:

“Dmitry Menshikov is from Kuzbass, which is where I come from, and that means a lot to me. The guys from Kuzbass are very strong, and the Thai boxing there is on a high level. There are great trainers and good support for the guys. For many years, they have been proving themselves by fighting the world’s top Muay Thai fighters.

“This guy has a very strong punch. He went ten years without a loss, which is huge. Dmitry is a great athlete. I think after one or two more fights, he will try his luck for the belt again. This time, he will have learned his lesson, and the Kuzbass region will have a second World Champion.”

To say that Menshikov has a “strong punch” might be an understatement.

The lightweight brawler packs pure thunder in each hand – evidenced by his brutal finishes of Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong and Mouhcine Chafi in ONE.

Given that show-stopping power – coupled with his training in Kuzbass – Malykhin believes his fellow Russian will take out Sinsamut at ONE Fight Night 22:

“He represents the excellent Kuzbass school of Muay Thai, which in my opinion is the best in the world. I would put it 70 percent to 30 percent in favor of Dmitry. I think that Menshikov is a better striker than Sinsamut. He can outstrike Sinsamut.”

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