ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar will meet ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin in the main event, with the winner walking out on top of the heavyweight division.
Bhullar last competed inside the Circle against Brandon Vera to become India’s first-ever mixed martial arts World Champion.
The breakout moment was massive for the nation and was an example of the growth of the sport in the region.
In his absence, Malykhin rose to the top of the division.
The Russian continued his undefeated streak with wins over Amir Aliakbari and Kirill Grishenko to claim the interim gold. But even before he took home the title, he had Bhullar in his crosshairs. Now a perfect 10-0, Malykhin hopes to become the undisputed champion and make his own mark on the mixed martial arts landscape.
The jovial heavyweight had been calling out Bhullar through social media and in post-bout interviews. He repeatedly called him a “chicken.” Now it may come to roost as Bhullar steps in for the first defense of his crown with the intent to make Malykhin eat his words.
The unification bout will be a titanic main event between two rivals who have no trouble making their feelings known on the microphone. The pre-match build should be almost as exciting as the in-Circle action.
ONE 161 airs live on watch.onefc.com on September 29 from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.