The heavyweight fight between Anatoly Malykhin and Arjan Bhullar was moved to a Friday night to accommodate the Indian audience. They won’t have liked what they saw as their fighter was absolutely crushed by the Russian at ONE Friday Fights 22.

Bhullar was content to counter strike in the opening round of this heavyweight unification fight at Lumpinee Stadium. He did score with some stuff jabs but Malykhin was the one setting the pace, landing hard punches to the body and head.

Malykhin did threaten with a takedown attempt at the start of the round. But this clearly wasn’t the strategy for the interim champion who was constantly targeting his opponent’s midsection.

Bhullar didn’t seem too concerned at this stage despite having clearly lost a one sided round. The second stanza was even less competitive with Malykhin repeatedly landing right hands to the body and head of the regular champion.

He also started to score with left hooks downstairs with Bhullar just content to cover up. He did land a body shot of his own just before the bell but it was virtually the only strike he threw in the round.

Non stop barrage

At the start of the third Malykhin started using the body shots to set up uppercuts. He trapped Bhullar in the corner and looked to finish the fight but  the Canadian, who has Indian heritage, ducked and dived to avoid the worst of the punishment.

As Malykhin pushed on they ended up clinching and the Russian landed a knee before driving his opponent out of the ring. They were reset in the middle and Bhullar turtled up, giving up his back.

Bhullar was able to work his way to the edge of the ring again only to receive a yellow card and get reset again. With his opponent turtled up Malykhin threw a non stop barrage of punches to the head until the referee decided he has seen enough.

The finish came at the 2:42 mark and had looked inevitable almost from the start. Bhullar slips to 11-2 and loses his title while Malykhin improves to 13-0, unifies the heavyweight titles and picked up a $50,000 USD bonus in the process

Best of the rest

Earlier in the evening Sittichai Sitsongpeenong claimed a decision win over Eddie Abasolo despite a spirited performance from the American who landed several elbows during their featherweight fight. Kongthoranee Sor Sommai finished Gingsanglek Tor Laksong with a left hook in the second round of their catchweight contest.

ONE Friday Fights 22, Bangkok, June 23rd
MMA: Arjan Bhullar def. Russia Anatoly Malykhin via TKO (Punches) at 2:42 of round three
Sittichai Sitsongpeenong def. Eddie Abasolo via Decision (Unanimous)
Fariya Aminipour def. Rambolek Chor Ajalaboon via Decision (Split)
Kongthoranee Sor Sommai def. Gingsanglek Tor Laksong via KO (Punch) at 0:28 of round two
Akram Hamidi def. Jomhod AutoMuayThai via KO (Punch) at 0:36 of round two
Thongpoon PKSaenchaigym def. Yangdam Sor Tor Hiewbangsaen via Decision (Split)
MMA: Shamil Erdogan def. Fan Rong va KO (Punch) at 0:37 of round two