Anatoly Malykhin’s star-making year concluded with being named ONE Championship’s MMA Athlete Of The Year. The promotion recognized him with the honor earlier this week after two incredible performances inside the Circle in 2022.
Malykhin rose to the top of the heavyweight division in 2021 with back-to-back knockout performances. When 2022 began, he awaited a shot at the gold to cement himself as the division’s leader. His first encounter with a championship bout came on February 11 against Kirill Grishenko.
The battle for the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Championship was one-sided. Malykhin breezed through the bout and ended the action early with a second-round knockout. Malykhin then turned his attention toward a unification bout against Arjan Bhullar to establish who really is the top dog at heavyweight. However, a different opportunity found the Russian before the year’s end.
With Bhullar on the sideline, Reinier De Ridder put his ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship on the line against Malykhin. It was a big opportunity for Malykhin to jump into U.S. primetime on ONE on Prime Video 5 and become a two-division World Champion.
On December 2, Malykhin would take the title in an emphatic fashion. Inside one round, the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion pummeled De Ridder from pillar to post. “The Dutch Knight” was stuffed on every attempt to get the action to the canvas, and Malykhin’s heavyweight power was simply too much.
Elation washed over Malykhin once he got the second belt over his shoulder. Now, as a two-division titleholder, Malykhin is finally getting his flowers. Malykhin edged out Christian Lee, Tang Kai, and Demetrious Johnson to take the crown of 2022’s MMA Athlete Of The Year for ONE.
The Russian is dangerous no matter where the action takes place and remains an undefeated juggernaut heading into the new year, where he hopes to finally settle the score against Bhullar and become the undisputed king.
NEW DOUBLE-CHAMP 👑 👑 Anatoly Malykhin Knocks Out Reinier De Ridder
ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin dethroned Reinier de Ridder with an INSANE first-round knockout and claimed the ONE Light Heavyweight…
Mma, Mixed martial arts, News, One championship
Black Belt Magazine
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