The undefeated Russian knocked out Iranian superstar Amir Aliakbari in the first round of their mixed martial arts clash at ONE: REVOLUTION on Friday, 24 September – and it was nothing short of spectacular.
After a touch of gloves, Malykhin stuffed a jab in Aliakbari’s face to set up a low kick, which landed and went unanswered. Taking advantage of the idle time, the Russian fired an overhand right and left hook, both of which grazed the Iranian’s chin.
Aliakbari used his hulking strength to push Malykhin away as the latter rushed in throwing meat hooks. But when the Tehran native tried to dip the next punch – a right hook – he moved his face straight into Malykhin’s right hand.
Following a brief exchange that furthered the tension, a right hand from Malykhin clipped Aliakbari on the chin, sending him backward and down to the canvas. The Russian ran and dove on top of his foe, trying to secure a dominant position from the ground.
However, Aliakbari managed to stand up with Malykhin’s arms wrapped around his head and left arm. From that position, the Russian threw a half-dozen knees to Aliakbari’s head. The Iranian finally freed himself from the hold, but his exertion showed.
Wide-mouthed, Aliakbari mustered up a looping right hand that reminded Malykhin he was still facing two-way traffic. In response, the Russian softened up the big man’s torso with jabs and then caught him with a straight right from up top and a right uppercut from below.
With the Iranian wobbling, Malykhin stunned him with one more right hand and then a left hook. Aliakbari’s head rolled back, his arms went up, and he dropped where he stood as referee Olivier Coste jumped in to wave off the contest at 2:57 of round one.
The knockout win improved “Sladkiy’s” flawless record to 10-0, and he officially earned a ONE Heavyweight World Title shot from ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.