Anatoly Malykhin has already knocked Amir Aliakbari out once. The Russian would be open to the possibility of doing it again after being called out by the Iranian who finally won a ONE Championship fight last weekend.
Having been stopped in his previous two bouts, including the knock out loss to Malykhin at ONE: ‘Revolution’, Aliakbari finally has his career back on track. He finished Mauro Cerilli at ONE on Prime Video 1 and afterwards called for a rematch with the Russian.
Malykhin was watching the fight and it is fair to say he wasn’t impressed,
“I watched his fight against Mauro. What can I say? Aliakbari did not show anything new. He is still the same, slow. He does not breathe well. I don’t see what he can (do to) oppose my speed and functionality, my pressure.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 27, 2022
But he is aware that Aliakbari is a big name. The Iranian reached the final of the Rizin super heavyweight Grand Prix and would have signed for the UFC if it hadn’t been for US sanctions against his country that prevented him from getting paid.
So Malykhin would be happy to face him for a second time,
“It would be an interesting story. He has a lot of social media followers and a big support group.”
He was scheduled to face Arjan Bhullar in a heavyweight unification bout at ONE 161. That bout has been postponed after the Canadian had to undergo surgery on his arm.
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So there is the possibility that Malykhin could defend his interim title against a different opponent and he is confident of beating absolutely any heavyweight,
“No one has a chance (against) me in this division. I am always 100% ready. A miracle must happen for someone to (beat) me.”
If ONE Championship matchmakers do grant Aliakbari his rematch request Malykhin can only see one outcome,
“It will not be difficult to drop Aliakbari again. This fight is easy money for me.”
He responded to Aliakbari’s call out on Instagram and thinks it is such an easy fight that he needs to find a new way to finish the Iranian just to keep things interesting. Last time it was a left hook that did the damage but Malykhin wants to finish the rematch with his right hand,
“Now I have to drop him with the right. We can add a little variety to our fights.”