ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar is already predicting how his first World Title defense will go, and he doesn’t even have a date for it yet.
He does, however, have an opponent.
The newly crowned heavyweight king will defend his crown against rising Russian star Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin, who earned his shot by knocking out Amir Aliakbari at ONE: REVOLUTION on Friday, 24 September.
“The guy doesn’t have the skills I have, neither does he have the insides. He doesn’t have the spirit I have inside, [and he] doesn’t have the mentality I have,” Bhullar said.
“But I do think he’s a formidable opponent, and his record shows that. I’m excited for the challenge.”
Malykhin is 10-0 in mixed martial arts and has defeated both Aliakbari and Alexandre Machado during his short stint in ONE.
The Russian exhibited his impressive boxing skill in both bouts, but Bhullar believes it won’t be enough to snatch the belt. In fact, “Singh” thinks he’s on a whole other level compared to Aliakbari – especially when it comes to striking.
“Anatoly was able to impose his stand-up. There are obviously glaring holes in Aliakbari’s stand-up, and that was his path of least resistance to a victory. It was good to see what [Malykhin’s] stand-up looks like,” the 35-year-old said.
“But next is me, and I’m not Aliakbari. We see holes in what he has shown, and I’m excited for the challenge to go exploit them.”
And he may do just that. After all, Bhullar took out former longtime ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera – a feat that no other heavyweight could accomplish in ONE Championship in the five years that Vera held the strap.
Against Malykhin, the Indian is predicting the same harsh reality.
“I will have my hand raised,” Bhullar said, “and [Malykhin] will be busted up.”
Read More From ONE Championship: