‘One Day Our Fight Will Pack A Stadium’ – Malykhin Praises Buchecha Despite Tough Loss To Reug Reug
Reigning ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin was one of the many viewers who tuned in to watch the back-and-forth war between “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.
That pivotal heavyweight MMA showdown took place on August 4 at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Prime Video, as the Senegalese wrestling star ultimately walked away with a hard-fought unanimous decision.
It took three rounds of heart-pounding action, as Kane handed “Buchecha” his first career MMA defeat and stepped closer to a potential shot at Malykhin’s divisional gold.
However, Malykhin wasn’t particularly impressed by the winner, and he came away believing that both men need to work on their stamina to compete at the highest level.
“Sladkiy” told onefc.com afterward:
“I won’t say that ‘Buchecha’ was any worse in this fight than ‘Reug Reug.’ I think this fight could have been scored a draw. They were both so exhausted, they couldn’t even talk after the fight. They have to train smarter and up their cardio, so they don’t get exhausted like that.”
Even though “Reug Reug” secured the victory, Malykhin actually believes that Almeida could have won by making some minor adjustments.
The divisional king recognizes that the 17-time BJJ World Champion is only a few fights into his professional MMA career.
With that in mind, he still sees “Buchecha” as one of the most promising heavyweight competitors in recent memory – and a likely World Title challenger in the future.
“If ‘Buchecha’ had a little more experience and could control positions, throw punches without a rush, he would have easily taken this fight. So now, ‘Buchecha’ needs a little bit of a reboot.
“He’s a very good fighter. He’s a legend, and it’s not a big deal that he lost. He just needs to pick himself up, get back in the gym, and work hard, and I believe that one day our fight will pack a stadium.”
Malykhin: Reug Reug Has ‘No Chance’ If He Challenges Me
With his victory at ONE Fight Night 13, Oumar Kane improved his career MMA record to 6-1 and extended his current winning streak to three.
Perhaps most importantly, he put himself at or near the front of the line to challenge for the ONE Heavyweight World Title. And if Kane is given the next opportunity, reigning divisional king Anatoly Malykhin would happily take the matchup.
“Yes, when it’s his turn, I’m ready to accept his challenge. The organization knows that I never turn down a challenge, I never turn down a fight. I’m ready to fight anyone who wants to claim my belt. And if ‘Reug Reug’ is ready, I’m always ready. Let him get in line.”
Malykhin claimed the undisputed heavyweight crown in June with a dominant showing against former titleholder Arjan Bhullar. The two-division ONE World Champion boasts a perfect MMA record with a 100 percent finishing rate, making him the planet’s most devastating heavyweight.
Brimming with confidence, the Russian knockout artist says that he’s the one man every other contender wants to avoid:
“Ask any ONE heavyweight, ‘Would you like to face ‘Sladkiy?’’ And one-hundred percent of the answers will be, ‘No.’
“I’m on a whole different level compared to these guys. My life is running on a tight schedule – crazy workouts, the best family, the best coaching staff. I one-hundred percent love what I do, and I don’t slip up anywhere. I don’t slack.”
Naturally, Malykhin thinks that Kane wouldn’t pose much of a problem if they are matched up for the ONE Heavyweight World Title.
He made that point clear with his parting words:
“‘Reug Reug’ has no chance against me. He’s very slow, he doesn’t breathe well. And I don’t see how he can compete with me. He doesn’t have the skills to surprise me. He’s a regular, slow heavyweight.”