ONE Championship's heavyweight king, Arjan Bhullar, is ready for his first title defense following Anatoly Malykhin's dominant first-round knockout at ONE: Revolution.
The American Kickboxing Academy star had thoughts about his Russian challenger following the event and had no problem sharing his opinions.
"Anatoly was able to impose his stand-up. There are obviously glaring holes in [Amir] Aliakbari's stand-up and that was his path of least resistance to a victory. It was good to actually see what his stand-up looks like," says Bhullar.
"Generally, he's rushed in for takedowns and gone that route. You know, [at] the end of the day, he got his arm raised, that's [what's] most important. But next is me and I'm not Aliakbari, and we see holes in what he has shown, and I'm excited for the challenge to go exploit them."
Bhullar captured the ONE Heavyweight World Championship with a second-round TKO over Brandon Vera earlier in 2021. Since then, "Singh" has gotten to watch the heavyweight division's rapid growth while waiting on his first challenger.
The undefeated Russian has now assumed that role.
"Anatoly has a 10-0 record, very similar to mine. I had that "0" a few years ago, and so I know exactly how he feels. I don't feel too far off from that. Even in the fight when I ended up losing, I was winning every second in that fight," says Bhullar.
"Yet, I have filled in the gaps [in my game] that potentially I don't think he has because, you know, everything is going well for him – and I'm just going to leave it at that for now. But I do think he's a formidable opponent and his record shows that. I'm excited for the challenge."
Much like Clubber Lang in the all-time great sports movie Rocky III, Bhullar's expectation for their impending matchup is quite simple: pain.
"The work has already begun, and it had already begun the day I signed [with ONE] and the day he signed. I knew we'd see each other, so I'm just excited that my next defense has been announced," says Bhullar.
"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."
"I cut no corners, I go the extra mile, I'm not as stiff as him, and I'm not as stationary as him, so it's going to be a completely different animal coming at [Anatoly]. I'm excited to get it on."
No date has been announced for the heavyweight showdown, but the title tilt is set, and it is guaranteed to deliver one of the best heavyweight bouts of the year.
The Heavyweight COLLISION Between Anatoly Malykhin And Amir Aliakbari 😤😱A HUGE KNOCKOUT finished the heavyweight brawl between Russian slugger Anatoly Malykhin and Iranian superstar Amir Aliakbari at ONE: REVOLUTION!#ONERevolutio...
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