Anatoly Malykhin was at his monstrous best at ONE on Prime Video 5 on Saturday. The Russian decimated Reinier De Ridder’s undefeated record as he knocked the Dutchman out cold inside the first round.
Malykhin came into the fight as the ONE Championship interim heavyweight champion. He’s now usurped de Reinier as the king of the light heavyweight division and he wants to add a third strap to his collection.
The Russian wasn’t specific about where exactly he plans to find it but it sounds like he might be willing to move down to middleweight to challenge de Ridder again,
“I’m going to put on a show every time I come to the cage. I’m ready for anyone. I’m going to take out everyone and I’m going to win so get ready for me. Three belt time, let’s go!” he bellowed after the fight.
NEW DOUBLE-CHAMP 👑👑 ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin 🇷🇺 knocks out Reinier de Ridder to claim the light heavyweight throne!#WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonPrimeVideo5 pic.twitter.com/xp8YrVKd7R
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 3, 2022
De Ridder was the light heavyweight champion and still is the middleweight champion. He had talked about moving up to challenge Arjan Bhullar for the heavyweight belt but after suffering a devastating knockout defeat at the hands of Malykhin that dream is well and truly over for the Dutchman.
But Malykhin remains undefeated and it sounds like he wants to be the one to realize de Ridder’s dream of being a three division champion,
“De Ridder said that he wanted and he dreamed of having three belts. His dream didn’t happen, so I am here to make my dream happen and maybe have three of four belts. I’m coming for all the belts so everyone should be careful.”
Both men came into the contest with perfect professional records but de Ridder got caught early and never really recovered as Malykhin unleashed flurries of powerful punches.
There was some suggestion that the fight should have been stopped sooner but Malykhin felt that the Dutchman was such a dangerous opponent he had to finish the job,
“I think De Ridder is a really strong fighter so he could have fought until the very last minute. It’s not my job to stop the fight, I’m just here to finish it and give my all as long as I can.”
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Malykhin has been very critical of heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar who has turned down fights with him on several occasions. The Canadian was involved in a contract dispute and then needed surgery on an arm injury although he is adamant he will be ready to return in early 2023.
But Malykhin has nothing but respect for de Ridder,
“I’m just going to fight and do what I am best at. I just want to thank my opponent because I was getting ready for this fight really hard. He’s one of the best people on the planet and I just have respect for him for making this fight happen.”
Bhullar has not fought for 18 months and it seems like Malykhin is losing patience. Instead of waiting around for a heavyweight unification fight he plans to stay at light heavyweight and defend his new belt.
“Bhullar is weak. He doesn’t deserve to be in ONE Championship because it just happens every single time. He’s a weak fighter, so I’m going to do the next fight at 93kgs.”