Count ONE Light Heavyweight and interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin among the many impressed by performances at ONE Fight Night 11.
One of the first showings that captured his attention came from fellow Russian Mansur Malachiev. The Dagestani grappler defeated rising star Jeremy Miado and threw his name into the mix at strawweight, where Malykhin believes he’ll have an immediate impact.
“It was a wonderful fight! Once again, Malachiev proved that Dagestan wrestling carries a lot of weight, and everyone should take it seriously. It was a great debut. What more do you need,” Malykhin asked ONE Championship.
“I believe he will fight for the belt soon. He was able to put the strawweight division on notice. A win is always a great statement.”
Another Russian, Ilya Freymanov, also lifted “Sladkiy” to his feet.
Freymanov, a top contender in the featherweight division, survived an early scare from Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg before rallying to finish the match in the first round. One huge reason Malykhin believes a World Title is in his future is the ability to overcome adversity.
“Ilya is the next champion. He was a little bit too relaxed during the first minute of the bout. But then he came back, won the fight, and took home a US$50,000 bonus,” the two-division World Champion said.
“He was knocked down by his opponent at the beginning of the fight. It was a very dangerous moment, for sure. His strength is his fighting IQ. He is a very smart fighter.
“He has some light injuries, but I think he will be back on track soon, and after one or two more fights, he will fight for the belt.”
But it was not only his fellow countryman that excited the two-division king. ONE Lightweight
Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion Regian Eersel also impressed the hard-swinging heavyweight, as he proved stepping onto ONE’s global stage is a difficult task for debuting opposition.
“Regian Eersel proved that ONE is the strongest league in the world, and no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no one in ONE Championship just gives their belts away. The champion has proven that he’s several heads above everyone else,” Malykhin said.
Ahead of his heavyweight unification bout on June 23 against Arjan Bhullar, Malykhin wanted prospective contenders to learn from Menshikov before stepping up onto the global stage.
“Mental state is everything in any fight. Mental strength is one of the main features of a champion. The main fight puts a lot of weight on the fighter’s shoulders – people expect you to put on a show, the promotion expects a lot from you, and not many people can handle it,” Malykhin said.
“[Menshikov] had to warm himself up first – take some lower ranking fights, and then go and fight for the belt. He was nervous. You could see that he couldn’t handle his nerves.
“But don’t give up! All opponents, no matter how scary the masks they might wear, are just humans.”
ONE Fight Night 11 | All Fight Highlights
Relive all the best moments from a wild night of martial arts action in the legendary Lumpinee Stadium at ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov!Subscribe …
AND STILL 🏆🏆 Regian Eersel SHUTS DOWN Dmitry Menshikov IN 46 SECONDS
Two-sport king Regian Eersel unleashed an incredible first-round knockout on Russian destroyer Dmitry Menshikov to retain the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World…
Mixed martial arts, Mma, One fc, One championship
Black Belt Magazine
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