ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin has trained like there’s no tomorrow and believes he is ready for his coronation.
Malykhin takes on two-division World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder for the latter’s ONE Light Heavyweight World Title at ONE Fight Night 5 this Saturday, 3 December, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Knowing what’s at stake in Manila, Philippines, expect the Russian knockout machine to go all-in.
“Each fight is very important for me. I train as if it is the last one ever. I will try to display my best skills, my courage, and I will try to impress the audience,” he said.
“They expect a good show. I’m going to win. It will be a noble battle. Winning will mean I’m [a two-division] champion of the best organization in the world, it’s my dream.”
Malykhin praised De Ridder’s grappling, especially since the Dutchman has virtually outclassed everyone in The Home of Martial Arts with his submissions.
In fact, more than half of De Ridder’s seven wins in ONE have come from submissions, so Malykhin will be looking out for them come fight time.
However, he believes that the one advantage he has over De Ridder’s former opponents is his wrestling, as he believes that “The Dutch Knight” won’t be able to drag him to the ground.
“He has good jiu-jitsu, his transitions are on point. However, I have good wrestling, too. My base is freestyle wrestling, it’s going to be hard for him take me down,” he said.
“I will go after a nice knockout because people want entertainment and people like stand-up fights. And as for percentage? I don’t know. We’ll see in the Circle how I am ready, how he is ready.”
While he expects De Ridder to take the fight to the canvas, he urges his opponent to keep this fight standing and entertain the crowd with an all-out striking duel.
“Any wrestling is good for MMA, but especially freestyle wrestling. But I’m not going to wrestle, and neither is he, I think. Enough wrestling, De Ridder, we have to give an entertaining show, we have got to trade punches – everyone is tired of wrestling already,” Makykhin said.
“Let’s show some nice knockouts and have a stand-up fight.”
Tickets for ONE Fight Night 5 and ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks at the Mall of Asia Arena on 3 December are available at https://linktr.ee/ONEPH.