Anatoly Malykhin (R) (ONE Championship)

Islam Makhachev: Anatoly Malykhin is Baddest Man on The Planet

According to the UFC’s pound-for-pound king, he is not the baddest man on the planet. 

Islam Makhachev has been dominant in the UFC lightweight division, with a near-perfect 25-1 professional record, and he has held the world title since Oct. 2022. 

But he believes ONE Championship’s history-making king is the one everyone should fear. 


On Mar. 1, ONE heavyweight and light heavyweight MMA champion Anatoly Malykhin added the ONE middleweight MMA title to his collection by defeating Reinier de Ridder via TKO to become the sport’s first-ever three-division titleholder. 

Malykhin’s unblemished 14-0 record is even more impressive when broken down, given he has a 100-percent finishing rate, with four submissions and 10 knockouts to his credit.  

Since arriving in ONE, “Sladkiy” has been a highlight machine and has broken the likes of de Ridder, Amir Aliakbari, and Arjan Bhullar. 

After Malykhin won the middleweight MMA crown at ONE 166: Qatar, Makhachev posted to his Instagram account to assert that he was the baddest guy on the planet. And it’s difficult to disagree with the assertion. 

The Russian star is far from a plodding heavyweight. In fact, as he dropped down for his rematch with De Ridder, Malykhin cleaned up his diet and added swimming to his cardio routine. 

As a credit to ONE’s weight and hydration rules, he was not drawn out or dehydrated – he was just in the best shape of his life. 

There are not many areas of weakness in Malykhin’s game. He has tremendous power and quick hands in his lunchbox-sized fists and is a Russian wrestling champion. Whether standing on the feet or going to the ground, the three-weight World Champion has the credentials to control the action. 

Who is going to disagree with Makhachev? He has more knowledge to assess what makes a fighter great than most, so him saying Malykhin is the baddest in the game should be listened to with both ears.