ONE Championship will crown a new championship ONE: Only The Brave on Friday, January 28. With ongoing negotiations with ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar, per ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, an interim championship has been created and will be on the line.
“Arjan and his management team have declined multiple offers to defend the ONE Heavyweight World Championship under his current contract,” said Sityodtong.
Anatoly Malykhin vs. Kirill Grishenko Interim Title Fight Set
“While this plays out, the show must go on in our heavyweight division, so we will be crowning an interim World Champion between top contenders Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko.”
Malykhin had been at the top of the list for a title shot following his back-to-back victories inside the Circle in 2021.
The Russian stepped onto the global stage for the first time in February with a win over Alexandre Machado. Malykhin earned the first-round stoppage and immediately began a rivalry with Amir Aliakbari.
That rivalry would come to a head in September, and Malykhin shocked the Iranian with a first-round knockout. Following the emphatic win, Malykhin seemed poised to challenge for the gold.
But he was not the only heavyweight to make noise in 2021.
Grishenko got his ONE career started by stopping the oncoming train known as “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane. The TKO victory over the Senegalese wrestling sensation put Grishenko right in the thick of the heavyweight division’s hunt for gold.
The Belarusian returned to the Circle in October against Dustin Joynson. In a three-round battle, the 30-year-old did enough to warrant a unanimous decision victory over an exciting heavyweight talent to extend his unbeaten streak.
At ONE: Only The Brave, these two undefeated heavyweight monsters will collide with gold on the line. The main event battle will get 2022 started off with a bang.
Stay tuned for more matches for ONE: Only The Brave as they are announced.
ONE: Only The Brave will air via YouTube on Friday, January 28.