Reigning ONE FC heavyweight and bantamweight champion Anatoly Malykhin assessed the likelihood of his move to the world’s strongest league.
“I’m in ONE FC, and I think I’ll end up there,” the 35-year-old Russian fighter said in an interview with BoxTV. “A lot of people write to me, ‘When in the UFC, when in the UFC?’ Nobody wanted me when I was looking for my home, UFC, Bellator, and only ONE FC sent me a contract. To this day I haven’t felt that kind of care from any employer. The boss called and told me, ‘you’re not my fighter anymore, we’re business partners’ – he’s done a lot for my family and I’ll never betray him”
“Even if a contract comes from the UFC and there’s twice as much money there, I’ll never betray. Even if they offer me a championship fight right away, I won’t accept it. I will be in ONE FC until the end and I will definitely finish my career there.”
As for the next fight, Malykhin still wants to take the middleweight championship belt from the Dutchman Rainier de Ridder, who has already been stripped of his ONE FC light heavyweight title.
“I want to fight at 93 pounds with de Ridder – I want a third belt. It’s a new challenge – what will I be like at 93 kilograms? I’ve never done 93kg in my life. Even when I fought, I used to do 97 kg at the most, but I was younger. Now I have a different physique, as you get older you become a bit stony, and the weight comes off harder”
Anatoly Malykhin fought his last fight in June this year, finishing Canadian Arjan Bullard by technical knockout in the third round and successfully unifying the ONE FC interim and current heavyweight titles.