Anatoly Malykhin
Anatoly Malykhin want his third world title under the ONE Championship banner. ONE Championship


  • Anatoly Malykhin is unconcerned about Amir Aliakbari as a title challenger
  • Aliakbari is set to fight Dustin Joynson at ONE Fight Night 12
  • "I'll just knock him out even faster than I did last time," Malykhin says

Iranian heavyweight Amir Aliakbari is set to compete at ONE Fight Night 12 on Saturday, July 15 (Friday, July 14 in the U.S.) against Dustin Joynson in what could be a title eliminator bout, but Anatoly Malykhin is unconcerned about Aliakbari's skillsets.

"I reckon Aliakbari is just being given easy opponents. Dustin is an average fighter; he's a bit old and hasn't shown any good results. He (Aliakbari) lost to [Kirill] Grishenko. So Aliakbari just thinks he's winning now and that he's found his game. When he meets me, I'll show him his place again and show him what he can really do," Malykhin said in a recent interview.

Malykhin put on a ferocious display of his boxing skills when he faced then-lineal ONE heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar at ONE Friday Fights 22 after nearly two years' worth of trash talk from both camps.

The momentum was solidly in favor of the Russian as his stand-up skills quickly snuffed out any chance of Bhullar at bringing the fight down to the ground, instead absorbing an ungodly number of punches to the face and to the body.

The body blows certainly took its toll on Bhullar, and after suffering a beatdown on the ground, "Sladkiy" would find himself being crowned the new undisputed king of the heavyweights with a third-round TKO victory plus a $50,000 performance bonus for his troubles.

For Malykhin to dismiss Aliakbari outright is not surprising to fans of the promotion as the two behemoths shared the cage at ONE: Revolution in September 2021, which the former won by way of knockout in the very first round.

To Aliakbari's credit, he would bounce back with two significant TKO victories to his name as Italy's Mauro Cerilli fell victim to his power in August 2022, while Filipino-American mixed martial arts (MMA) star and former ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera was beaten into retirement just four months later.

When asked about rumors that Aliakbari will call him out should he beat the Canadian vet, Malykhin remained unfazed despite the Russian pining for another bout with Reinier de Ridder.

"I will be at this event, and if he challenges me, I will step into the cage and take that fight. And I'll show him that he can't do anything against me. What can he do to a double champion? I'll just knock him out even faster than I did last time. I'm on a whole different level," Malykhin declared.

"If he challenges me, I'll take that fight. I'm ready to fight him in September-October. If de Ridder is not ready, I'm ready in September-October to smash him in that ring."

Kang Ji Won vs. Amir Aliakbari
Amir Aliakbari lands a punch on Kang Ji Won. ONE Championship photo release