In the aftermath of ONE on Prime Video 5 the promotion’s CEO stated that he thought Arjan Bhullar was scared of Anatoly Malykhin. Those comments clearly attracted the attention of the promotion’s reigning heavyweight champion.
While he didn’t address Chatri Sityodtong’s comments directly Arjan Bhullar was clearly referencing them in his most recent Instagram post. He says that he has been ready to fight for nearly a month and that he wants to face the ‘scariest’ heavyweight’:
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The scary one
Bhullar was clearly watching the show and seems to know what was said at the press conference afterwards. He makes reference to Chatri’s comments about him being scared as well as Amir Aliakbari’s callout,
“Great weekend of fights ONE Championship I’ve been cleared since November 7th. Two heavyweights called me out this weekend. Give me the ‘scariest’ one first.”
Amir Aliakbari made it two wins in a row by finishing Filipino fan favourite Brandon Vera. The Iranian made a disastrous start to his ONE Championship career, getting knocked out in the opening round of his first two fights.
But he is back on track after two stoppage wins in quick succession. Two wins in four fights isn’t exactly the stuff which heavyweight title shots are made of but Aliakbari immediately called out the current champion in the aftermath of his win.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 3, 2022
But Bhullar’s main rival is clearly Malykhin. Afterwards he was asked about Bhullar and made some scathing comments which were translated as,
“He is just weak. He doesn’t deserve to be in ONE Championship because this (turning down fights) happens every time.”
Bhullar has turned down numerous fights with Malykhin. He wanted to renegotiate his contract which took several months and saw the first proposed fight between the two men fall through.
But Bhullar was able to secure a new contract and the fight was all set for ONE 161. However the Canadian was forced to pull out, needing surgery on an arm injury.
While Malykhin’s comments probably constitute simply criticism rather than an actual call out they are surely what Bhullar is referring to.