Over the past 18 months, ONE Championship has attempted to book the heavyweight unification bout between Arjan Bhullar and Anatoly Malykhin several times. Each time some outside factor forced it to be pushed back. But the two will finally square off on Friday, June 23, at ONE Friday Fights 22, per the organization.
ONE Heavyweight Title Fight Back On
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After winning the ONE Heavyweight World Championship against Brandon Vera, Bhullar and Malykhin were set for a title tilt. However, the first MMA World Champion of Indian descent rejected the bout offer. The following month, Malykhin became the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion with a dominant victory over Kirill Grishenko.
Last September, a unification bout was scrapped after Bhullar suffered an injury during training. Six months later, it was pushed due to a shift in broadcaster commitments. The rivalry between the two talented monsters has only grown during this time with numerous social media chatter.
The matchup is compelling, with both men having outstanding wrestling credentials and heavy hands. “Singh” is 11-1 and has refined his all-around skills at AKA with some of the biggest names in the sport’s history. The Russian sports an unblemished professional record and an outstanding 100% finishing rate that not only helped him grab interim gold but also the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against Reinier De Ridder.
The long-awaited unification bout is finally on the horizon. Bangkok, Thailand, will play host to the massive showdown inside the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. All of the action goes down at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT on Friday, June 23.