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Malykhin Predicts Finish Against Grishenko, Calls Bhullar A ‘Chicken’

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Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin is ready to stand atop the ONE Championship heavyweight mountain on Friday, February 11. With no losses to account for on his professional record, he enters ONE: Bad Blood with supreme confidence.

The rising Russian star will compete for the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Championship opposite Kirill Grishenko in the night’s co-main event.

But don’t tell Malykhin this is an interim title. The 34-year-old firmly believes it will be the undisputed crown in lieu of Arjan Bhullar’s inactivity.

“I don’t consider this belt interim. I will be the real champion,” Malykhin told ONE.

“If the champion refuses to fight, then he is no longer the champion.”

Standing opposite him inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium will be another unbeaten heavyweight. Grishenko has put together back-to-back wins inside the Circle, but Malykhin sees no cause for concern against the Belarusian.

“I see that Kirill is a good guy, a good fighter, but I’m at an absolutely different level in terms of skills and attitude,” said Malykhin.

“I think Kirill has no chance, with all my respect to him.”

“Sladkiy” noted Grishenko’s wrestling background and his ability to come with unorthodox strikes. However, Malykhin believes he has identified the deficiencies in his game through careful study.

“I see holes in his technique. My coach sees them. It’s not about underestimating Kirill. He is a good fighter. But, I will repeat, he is not the best. I’m the champion here. And I will be the ONE Championship champion for a very long time,” said the Russian.

“He has no knockouts, and his strikes are weak. He lacks speed and timing in his striking.”

Grishenko, who has an 80% finishing rate with three career TKOs under his belt, believes he’ll add Malykhin to that total. But the Golden Team representative thinks it is false bravado.

“I think he said he could knock me out just out of fear. When he regains consciousness after my knockout, he will realize that his plan to knock me out was just a dream.”

Although he predicts a quick knockout of Grishenko, Malykhin continues to poke and prod Bhullar, the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion. A matchup he has found elusive since rising through the ranks on ONE’s global stage.

“Sladkiy” trained for a title tilt against Bhullar, but the Canadian-Indian has remained on the sidelines. For Malykhin, he thinks Bhullar is afraid to step inside the Circle against him.

“I think that somewhere, mentally, this fear of being destroyed was passed to him. And at some point, he just broke. He doesn’t want to fight,” said the 34-year-old.

“He is not a fighter. He is a professional, he has a decent record, but he is not a fighter. He is not ready to fight the best. And currently, I’m the best. He is just a chicken. This is all I can say about him.”

“Let’s forget about Arjan – he’s already in the trash bin of history. Soon, we will have a new champion.”

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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