Anatoly Malykhin (ONE Championship)

Anatoly Malykhin Talks About Becoming Three-Division Champ, Francis Ngannou

Anatoly Malykhin has been an unstoppable force in ONE Championship since joining in 2021, and that train kept rolling down the tracks at ONE 166: Qatar this past weekend.

The Russian powerhouse extended his unbeaten streak with a second dominant win over Reinier de Ridder to claim the ONE middleweight MMA championship on Friday, Mar. 1, and make history by becoming the first athlete in the sport to hold three world titles simultaneously.

With an unblemished professional record and slew of impressive finishes, fans are clamoring to see more of Malykhin – and one of the biggest matchups suggested for him is against Francis Ngannou.


Given Ngannou resides outside of ONE, the prospective heavyweight tilt is unlikely to occur, but that didn’t stop the question from arising following “Sladkiy’s” latest win. 

Both Malykhin and ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong offered their responses.

“I have the best trainer in the world in boxing [John Hutchinson]. Therefore, he doesn’t stand a chance,” the three-division king replied.

Sityodtong was even more emphatic with his response when he placed Malykhin’s record and skill set above the hulking Cameroonian.

“There’s no question Anatoly is the greatest heavyweight on the planet, full stop. Put aside different organizations and marketing. He has a 100-percent finish rate, one-punch KO power. He would take Francis Ngannou down and smash him. He’s an elite wrestler,” Sityodtong said.

While the world may not ever get a definitive answer to who is the better man, there is no little debate surrounding Malykhin’s inclusion amongst the best mixed martial artists of all time.

After all, he has bulldozed his way to the top, done the impossible by dropping down two weight brackets, and he now sits on three thrones simultaneously while awaiting his next challenger, wherever they may come from.

ONE 166: Qatar can be relived on-demand at and ONE’s official YouTube channel.