Anatoly Malykhin became the triple champion of ONE Championship

Undefeated Russian fighter Anatoly Malykhin, who holds the ONE heavyweight and bantamweight titles, became the first triple champion in mixed martial arts history by taking the ONE middleweight belt from Dutchman Rainier de Ridder.

The title bout, which headlined ONE 166 in Qatar, ended in the third round after an exhausted and battered de Ridder refused to get back up to the rack and continue the fight, making another unsuccessful attempt to move Malykhin to the floor.

The Russian made his fans nervous in the first round by missing a straight right and getting knocked down, however, Malykhin didn’t look shaken and quickly got back into the fight as he continued to press his opponent near the net and pelt him with a series of powerful punches to the head and body.

Recall that in December 2022, the Russian fighter stripped de Ridder of his ONE heavyweight title by winning the fight by technical knockout in the first round, and last June, Anatoly Malykhin successfully unified the current and interim ONE heavyweight titles by finishing Arjan Bullard by technical knockout in the third round.

By re-fighting de Ridder, 36-year-old Anatoly Malykhin recorded his fourteenth professional victory, five of which came under the Asian League banner. The Russian finished all of his opponents early, winning ten fights by knockout and four by submissions.