‘They Have Undefeated Records Because Neither Has Fought Me’ – Arjan Bhullar Talks De Ridder Vs. Malykhin

Scenes from the ONE Heavyweight World Title fight between Arjan Bhullar and Brandon Vera at ONE: DANGAL on 15 May

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar will be watching the main event of ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin with plenty of personal interest. 

Two-division king Reinier de Ridder and interim heavyweight titleholder Anatoly Malykhin will fight for De Ridder’s ONE Light Heavyweight World Title in the main event this Friday, December 2, and both men are on Bhullar’s hit list of future opponents. 

For his part, “Singh” believes that Malykhin will have more routes to victory in this World Title challenge at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

However, he also thinks the Russian will feel more urgency to finish De Ridder.

Bhullar explained:

“It’s a classic matchup. You’ve got a grappler in RDR, and you’ve got a striker-grappler in Anatoly. Anatoly has more ways to win, and that’s the way this fight goes.  

“RDR is a specialist in jiu-jitsu. Malykhin is a wrestler who’s falling in love with his hands. Both have got undefeated records. 

“RDR’s stand-up is so sloppy. If Anatoly doesn’t catch him, he’s absolute garbage. So, the pressure’s on both of them to come up with something, but more for Anatoly, in my opinion.”

Friday’s contest could certainly have an impact on Bhullar’s next move, given that Malykhin holds the interim belt in his division and a unification bout will be coming at some point.

At the same time, “Singh” is also gunning for a matchup with “The Dutch Knight,” and he’ll be happy to face either man in the near future.

The confident Canadian-Indian said of 11-0 Malykhin and 16-0 De Ridder:

“I think they’re both trash, and I can’t wait to fight both of them. That’s where I’m at. And they have undefeated records because neither has fought me.

“Ideally, RDR gets it done, so I could get Malykhin [at heavyweight] and have RDR at 225 pounds [light heavyweight]. But either way, I could care less. I want both of them.”

Arjan Bhullar ‘Recovered’ And Eager To Return

Arjan Bhullar and Anatoly Malykhin’s ONE Heavyweight World Title unification bout was originally slated to take place at ONE 161 in September, but an injury forced “Singh” out of their highly anticipated clash. 

Now healed up, the reigning king is eager to solidify his position atop the division.

“Singh” said:

“I’m recovered. I was cleared [on] November 7, and I have let the company know.

“These guys are fighting on December 2. Book me for December 3. Send the contract. I want to get booked. I want to get active.”

Though Bhullar is eyeing World Title fights against both Anatoly Malykhin and Reinier de Ridder, he sees another potential contender for his heavyweight crown.

Former divisional king Brandon Vera – who lost his gold to “Singh” – will face Amir Aliakbari at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks this Saturday, December 3.

And for Bhullar, all possibilities are on the table.

He added:

“[The next fight] is going to be either Malykhin – to get his fake title out of there and shut his mouth up – or it’s going to be the winner of Brandon Vera vs. Amir Aliakbari, and I [would] like Amir as well. 

“That’s what makes sense for me. And then I drop down to fight RDR [at light heavyweight] after that. That’s the ideal path for me.”

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