“He Will Be Very Hard To Stop” – Anatoly Malykhin Says Sky’s The Limit For Teenage Phenom Rustam Yunusov

Anatoly Malykhin and Rustam Yunusov (1)

Three-division MMA World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin believes his charge, Rustam “Tomahawk” Yunusov, is the next big thing on the global stage.

Yunusov made his promotional debut at ONE Friday Fights 54, which took place on March 8 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. The 17-year-old Russian phenom gave fans a glimpse of his limitless potential with an incredible performance.

“Tomahawk” displayed a prodigious mastery of “the art of eight limbs” when he dominated Ramu Araya across three rounds of Muay Thai action to earn a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards.

Apart from his impressive combat skills, the teenage sensation also exhibited unwavering grit paired with the fight IQ of a grizzled veteran.

Yunusov – who improved his record to a pristine 10-0-1 – fought with a menacing swagger, knowing he had Malykhin in the corner, watching his back.

It is evident why Malykhin took Yunusov under his wing. The 17-year-old is a member of the prestigious ONE CHANCE team, a stable managed by the triple champ himself and his wife Anita Malykhin.

“Sladkiy” thanked ONE Championship for giving the youngster the chance to forge a bright future for himself.

Malykhin told onefc.com:

“I would like to thank ONE Championship for giving Rustam this opportunity. He showed his spirit, his character, delighted the Russian audience with his beautiful [skills], and gave [the fans] a show.”

While the 36-year-old Malykhin has always been an avid supporter of his fellow Russian warriors, it’s clear the ONE Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, and Middleweight MMA World Champion has taken a special interest in Yunusov.

Malykhin added:

“I am very happy to be in his corner, to be a part of our guys’ victories, to share the joy with them. Because for me, sport is life. I live it, so I always try to be in the corner of our guys and support them. I’m happy that they’re winning, that they’re making their way in life with their hard work, their perseverance, their spirit – it’s very cool.”

Anatoly Malykhin Believes Rustam Yunusov Can Become A ONE World Champion

Having fought and finished the best fighters in the world en route to winning three World Titles himself, the undefeated Anatoly Malykhin recognizes potential when he sees it.

While Rustam Yunusov is young and still building experience, with just the promise of his raw, unbridled talent, Malykhin believes “Tomahawk” has all the necessary tools and the proper attitude to make it big on the global stage.

“Sladkiy” expects his protégé to quickly rise through the ranks in the world’s largest martial arts organization and make his way through a stacked flyweight Muay Thai division, currently ruled by none other than reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.

Malykhin believes that Yunusov could even one day rival Rodtang and hold 26 pounds of gold over his shoulders. The Russian mauler added:

“As for Rustam’s skills, he’s a very technical guy, even though he’s still very young, I think he’s going to get better every year. In the near future he will be very hard to stop. I am sure that Yunusov has a very good chance to win the ONE belt and I am sure that he will show brilliant fights and the audience will love him.”

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