At the ONE on Prime Video 5 press conference yesterday Chatri Sityodtong was full of praise for the promotion’s newly crowned light heavyweight champion Anatoly Malykhin. Earlier in the day he had handed the Russian $100,000 USD in performance bonuses and he was very enthusiastic about the undefeated champion’s ability and potential.

Malykhin hasn’t needed to shoot for many takedowns in his ONE Championship career. But Chatri thinks people don’t realize just how good this area of his game is,

“People forget that Anatoly is a world class Russian national wrestler. He’s not just a regular wrestler, he’s top of the mountain in wrestling in Russia.”

Top dog

Malykhin currently has the interim heavyweight title. Arjan Bhullar holds the regular strap but Chatri knows who he thinks the top dog in the division is,

“I believe that Anatoly is bar none the best heavyweight on the planet in mixed martial arts because he has unbelievable wrestling, black belt in jiu jitsu and one punch knockout power.”

He sees Malykhin as being the best there is and feels the Russian is more well rounded than the rest of the top heavyweights around the world,

“If you look at other heavyweights around the world they will have a big punch but they have terrible wrestling or terrible jiu jitsu or whatever. Anatoly has zero holes in his game.”

Running scared

In comments that are unlikely to be well received in Canada he voiced a suspicion that Bhullar keeps postponing the unification bout with Malykhin because he is scared of the Russian,

“I’m trying to be respectful but I do believes Arjan is scared and that’s why there’s a billion excuses why he’s not ready to face Anatoly. I’d be scared too, he has better wrestling than me, he hits harder than me. What am I going to do?”

Malykhin has been calling Bhullar a chicken for the best part of a year. While the ONE Championship CEO was bit less blunt in his language it appears the Russian is not the only person who believes the champion is running scared.

A unification fight must surely be in the works but Chatri is adamant that the result will be the same regardless of which heavyweight Malykhin is matched with,

“Anatoly will knock any heavyweight in the world out.”