Even when two-division ONE world champion Anatoly Malykhin isn’t in camp, he still keeps a keen eye on the ongoing developments in ONE Championship.
“Sladkiy” will be in attendance at ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Saturday, November 4, inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and he’ll be watching a couple of contests on the card closer than others.
One of which will be the evening’s main event, where Malykhin’s teammate, ONE bantamweight MMA world champion Fabricio Andrade, takes on Muay Thai titleholder Jonathan Haggerty for the division’s vacant kickboxing crown.
Many fans have given the edge to Haggerty due to him only competing in the striking arts during his ONE tenure. But Malykhin sees it differently.
Having seen the caliber of Andrade’s striking first hand, the heavy-hitting Russian expects “Wonder Boy” to join him as a double world champion at the star-studded event.
“In my opinion, the crucial quality Fabricio has that can help him win is his commitment to fight to the end. He is also physically very strong. Haggerty has never had such a physically gifted opponent,” Malykhin said.
“I think Fabricio is much more gifted, specifically with his punches, and that will be his main advantage, besides his physique. Also, his punches are powerful.”
The other battle Malykhin will be watching with interest is the heavyweight MMA meeting between Kang Ji Won and Ben Tynan.
While Tynan will debut in ONE with an unblemished 4-0 slate and all the hype to go with it, Malykhin refuses to discount Kang, given that the South Korean star has racked up a multitude of knockouts in ONE.
The heavyweight MMA king believes “Mighty Warrior’s” friendly demeanor has led people to underestimate his fighting abilities. But with Kang’s four promotional wins coming by first-round knockout, Malykhin expects him to shock the world on November 4.
“Yes, I love this Korean fella. He is a heavyweight from Korea, and he always knows how to knock out his opponents unexpectedly,” he said.
“Kang is the dark horse of our heavyweight division. Everybody always thinks that he has the appearance of such a nice guy, a guy who can’t hurt you, but in the end, he drops everybody. So I think in this fight he will KO his opponent.”