On Friday, Jan. 28, ONE Championship will see an interim ONE heavyweight world champion crowned at ONE Championship: Only The Brave. Announced by the promotion on Monday, Kirill Grishenko will meet Anatoly Malykhin in a battle of unbeaten warriors.
The decision to hold an interim championship bout was made as the organization negotiates with the reigning heavyweight king, Arjan Bhullar, according to ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
“Arjan and his management team have declined multiple offers to defend the ONE heavyweight world championship under his current contract,” said Sityodtong. “While this plays out, the show must go on in our heavyweight division. So we will be crowning an interim world champion between top contenders Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko.”
Grishenko exploded onto the global stage in 2021 with two massive performances. In his debut match, the Belarusian defeated “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane by TKO. The 30-year-old then returned in October with a strong unanimous decision win over Dustin Joynson.
Malykhin also made his presence felt in ONE’s Circle in 2021. The Russian scored back-to-back first-round finishes in his two outings. In February, Malykhin dominated Alexandre Machado and secured a TKO victory. He then followed that with a stunning knockout of Amir Aliakbari in September.
While the card will continue to grow over the coming weeks, ONE Championship: Only The Brave is off to a rocking start with this main event clash of heavyweight sluggers. One man will lose his undefeated professional record, while the other will claim gold and position himself for a critical meeting against Bhullar later in 2021.
ONE Championship: Only The Brave airs on YouTube on Friday, Jan. 28.
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