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HIGHLIGHTS: Anatoly Malykhin Knocks Out Arjan Bhullar, Becomes ONE Championship Double Champion

Anatoly Malykhin becomes the first simultaneous light heavyweight & heavyweight champion in ONE Championship.

Arjan Bhullar, the first-ever Indian champion in a major promotion, fell victim to Anatoly Malykhin at ONE Friday Fights 22 on June 23, bringing an end to his two-year period of inactivity as the ONE Championship heavyweight titleholder.

With this victory, Malykhin became the very first heavyweight & light heavyweight double champion in ONE, extending his record to 13-0 and maintaining his 100% finish rate. Malykhin carried over the light heavyweight belt which he took from Reiner De Ridder in December 2022, and unified the interim heavyweight belt which he won by defeating Kirill Grishenko in February 2022.

From the starting bell, the power difference was on display, Malykhin backed Bhullar to the ropes, prodding away with stiff, powerful shots. It would seem like Bhullar was biding his time, waiting for Malykhin to exhaust himself, but as the fight continued it was clear that Malykhin wasn't slowing. At the end of the first round, a frustrated Malykhin gestured to Bhullar, inviting him to put on a show:

The second round was more of the same, Malykhin worked the body and the head of Bhullar. The Russian ripped immense bodyshots, Bhullar didn't know whether to cover his head or ribs:

Malykhin entered the third round for the first time in his professional career. The fight went to the floor as Malykhin pressured Bhullar against the ropes. Bhullar fell physically outside the ropes and the fight was reset. The same happened shortly afterwards, and Bhullar received a yellow card from the referee for deliberately disrupting the fight.

When the fight was reset again, Malykhin pounded on his downed opponent, and went to town with merciless ground & pound, winning by TKO.

After dedicating a minute to the late ONE Championship referee Paopom Watcharin, Malykhin called out De Ridder for a third fight. De Ridder replied on Twitter (via SCMP Martial Arts):

"Malykhin, [congratulations] on another great win. Thanks for the callout, but I'm not waiting around for you to lose some weight. , [until] the end of the year. So give me [Shamil Abdulaev], some new blood in August or September and then we can settle our score in October or November. See you soon."

The ONE Championship heavyweight division is just firing up from its two-year hiatus.

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