No Question! Malykhin ‘Would Take Ngannou Down And Smash Him’

Anatoly Malykhin has been an unstoppable force.

No one has simultaneously collected gold in mixed martial arts (MMA) to the degree that ONE Championship’s now-three-division champion has. The undefeated 14-0 Malykhin added a historic third strap to his collection at ONE 166 this past weekend (March 1, 2024). Once again stopping Reinier de Ridder via strikes, this time in round three, Malykhin took the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) ace’s 205-pound Middleweight crown.

The win came after Malykhin originally dethroned de Ridder from his 225-pound Light Heavyweight perch via a violent first round thumping (watch highlights) in December 2022 before stopping Arjan Bhullar for the Heavyweight crown in June 2023. Worldwide, the Russian Master of Sport in freestyle wrestling has proven to be among the best. At Heavyweight, in particular, ONE Founder and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, sees no match for Malykhin, including former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion, Francis Ngannou.

“There’s no question Anatoly is the greatest Heavyweight on the planet, full stop,” Sityodtong said in the ONE 166 post-fight press conference (h/t Sportskeeda). “Put aside different organizations and marketing. He has a 100 percent finish rate, one-punch KO power. He would take Francis Ngannou down and smash him. He’s an elite wrestler.”

While Malykhin continues his dominant run through any and all weight classes in ONE, Ngannou continues his pursuit of a professional boxing career. “The Predator” will return to the ring against Anthony Joshua in his second boxing match this weekend (Sat., March 9, 2024).

Regardless of the outcome against Joshua, Ngannou is expected to make his long-awaited Professional Fighters League (PFL) debut against Renan Ferreira in 2024. As unlikely as it will be for crossover between ONE and PFL, getting Malykhin involved in the mix would be a treat for MMA fans around the globe.

“Anatoly can fight anybody. There’s no question in my mind,” Sityodtong said. “If you look at his achievements, to win in three different weight divisions, 25 kilos difference, it’s superhuman to see what he did and it speaks volumes to his talent, skills, and championship heart.”

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