‘I Cooked The Chicken’ – Anatoly Malykhin Breaks Down World Title Triumph Over Rival Arjan Bhullar
In the main event of ONE Friday Fights 22 last week, Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin finally converted his interim heavyweight MMA crown to the undisputed ONE Heavyweight World Title when he dominated and finished former divisional king Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.
The Russian knockout artist was on point from the opening bell, brutalizing his foe with crispy boxing combinations and massive body shots in front of a raucous crowd at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
After two-and-a-half rounds of work, Malkyhin achieved the TKO stoppage to extend his unbeaten record, maintain his 100 percent finishing rate, and become the undisputed divisional king, further solidifying himself as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound competitors.
It was also the first time “Sladkiy” ever reached the third round of an MMA fight. Looking back on that performance, he admits to being impressed with Bhullar’s durability and resilience.
The 35-year-old told ONEFC.com:
“I must give him some credit. He turned out to be a tough fighter and a tough guy. I just couldn’t beat him in the first round. I knew I was going to win, and I set out to give my best in every round, to put on a spectacular fight. I’m glad he made it to the middle of the third round, that I could continue beating him for longer. I’m glad he didn’t go down immediately.”
The Raty Team representative came into the much-anticipated World Title unification bout with a specific game plan – attack “Singh’s” body early and often to drain his energy.
Malykhin says he executed that plan to perfection, slowly wearing down his opponent en route to another unforgettable finish:
“His torso, I think, is his weak point. He always protects his head well, so I worked more on his body – in my calm and relaxed style, that’s it. I waited for the body shots to do their job. And then when he was exhausted, I just hammered him. I cooked the chicken in the oven. Roasted it.”
Malykhin Says Undefeated Erdogan Could Dethrone De Ridder
After his drubbing of Arjan Bhullar last Friday, Anatoly Malykhin called for a fight against reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder – a man he previously beat to claim the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title.
Another matchup would represent “Sladkiy’s” shot at an unprecedented third MMA World Title.
“I think that if [De Ridder] meets Shamil, Shamil will become the champion and he’ll reign [at middleweight]. So I will not meet De Ridder if he faces Shamil, and I will remain the champion at light heavyweight and heavyweight. I train with Shamil. I won’t fight him.”
As the reigning ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion, Malykhin certainly dreams of capturing a historic third belt, but given his relationship with Erdogan, he’d happily put that dream on hold.
Above all, “Sladkiy” says the undefeated Turkish standout is an incredible talent with true World Title potential – something he would love to witness.
“Shamil is a friend of mine. He beat me in freestyle wrestling in the past. He has got great wrestling, already good kickboxing. He’s a good, calm, balanced fighter and a man. A great representative of his nation.”