Regular champion Arjan Bhullar will now face interim champion Anatoly Malykhin in a heavyweight unification fight at ONE Friday Fights 22. Having been postponed multiple times this match has now been brought forwards.

ONE Friday Fights 22 is set for Lumpinee Stadium on June 23rd. The fight had been set to take place at ONE Fight Night 12 at the same stadium on July 15th.

Prior to that it was booked for ONE 161 last September. But Bhullar had to pull out of that event in order to undergo arm surgery.

It was then rescheduled for ONE Fight Night 8 in March. But the bout was postponed again with the promotion citing ‘a shift in broadcast commitments’.

First loss

Malykhin recently dropped down to light heavyweight and handed Reinier de Ridder the first loss of his entire career. The Dutchman had dominated the division up until that point but it was a completely one sided fight with the Russian winning the light heavyweight title at ONE Fight Night 5.

Bhullar (11-1) is the regular champion. He won the belt by stopping Brandon Vera last year but has not fought in 14 months after becoming involved in a contractual dispute which was ultimately resolved.

Extremely dismissive

With Bhullar sidelined due to those contract negotiations the promotion introduced an interim belt. Malykhin (12-0) won it by stopping Kirill Grishenko in the second round and the two men have been going back and forth on social media for over a year now.

Malykhin has repeatedly accused Bhullar of being a chicken while Chatri Sityodtong told reporters he fought the Canadian was running scared. The Russian was extremely dismissive in the aftermath of his win over de Ridder.

ONE Friday Fights 22 will be broadcast globally on YouTube as well as being shown on Channel 7 in Thailand. There are currently four fights on the card.

Muay Thai

As previously announced Sam-A Gaiyanghadao will face Kompetch Fairtex in a strawweight bout. The former has won three in a row since losing his strawweight Muay Thai title to Pracjanchai PKSaenchaigym.

Meanwhile Nico Carrillo takes on Muangthai PKSaenchaigym in a bantamweight bout. Veteran Jomhod AutoMuayThai has been matched with Akram Hamidi in a catchweight contest which is set for 120lbs.

ONE Friday Fights 22, June 23rd
MMA: Arjan Bhullar (c) vs. Anatoly Malykhin (For heavyweight title)
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao vs. Kompetch Fairtex (Strawweight)
Nico Carrillo vs. Muangthai PKSaenchaigym (Bantamweight)
Jomhod AutoMuayThai vs. Akram Hamidi (Catchweight)