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Anatoly Malykhin knocks out Amir Aliakbari. Photos: ONE Championship

ONE Championship: Anatoly Malykhin believes rematch with ‘slow’ Amir Aliakbari would be ‘easy money’

  • Aliakbari rebounded from a KO loss to Malykhin with a stoppage of Mauro Cerilli last month in Singapore, and called for a rematch post-fight
  • Interim heavyweight MMA champ is undaunted by his rival’s challenge, proclaiming it would take a ‘miracle’ for the Iranian to win

Anatoly Malykhin is not worried about a potential rematch with Iran’s Amir Aliakbari.

The 34-year-old Russian, ONE Championship’s interim heavyweight title-holder, first met the Iranian wrestler in September of 2021, and won the fight with a devastating left hook in the first round.

Aliakbari, also 34, rebounded from that setback at ONE on Prime Video 1 last month in Singapore, defeating Mauro Cerilli by second-round TKO, and capped the victory off by calling for a shot at redemption against Malykhin.

But the interim champ does not seem concerned.

Anatoly Malykhin celebrates after knocking out Amir Aliakbari.

“I watched his fight against Mauro,” Malykhin (11-0) told ONE’s official website, responding to Aliakbari’s call-out. “What can I say? Aliakbari did not show anything new. He is still the same: slow.”

At this point, Malykhin’s future is somewhat nebulous. The interim champion was slated to take on undisputed champion Arjan Bhullar at ONE 161 on September 29, but that plan fell through when Bhullar sustained an injury.

With Bhullar on the sidelines, it is unclear who the Russian will fight next.


Aliakbari (11-3) is seemingly a few steps behind other contenders like Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida and Kang Ji-Won, but could conceivably get a rematch with the interim champion if he continues to win.

ONE: Bhullar posts surgery update; De Ridder calls for Malykhin fight

In that event, Malykhin is confident he would win by knockout again, and joked that he will seal the deal with his right hand rather than left to give the fans some variety.

“No one has a chance to [beat] me in this division,” he said. “I am always 100 per cent ready. A miracle must happen for someone, including Aliakbari, to [beat] me.

“It will not be difficult to drop Aliakbari again. This fight is easy money for me. If there is a second fight, then he will become another highlight [reel].

Amir Aliakbari walks out for a fight with Kang Ji-won.

“I already answered his challenge [for a second match] on social media, so now I have to drop him with the right [hand] – we can add a little variety to our fights.”


While Malykhin does not seem particularly enthused or concerned about fighting Aliakbari a second time, he does see one positive in the possibility.

The Iranian has a whopping 2.3 million followers on Instagram, and an extremely loyal fan base, which lends to the buzz surrounding all of his fights.


“It would be an interesting story,” Malykhin said. ‘He has a lot of social media followers and a big support group.”