Anatoly Malykhin still wants to fight “Buchecha,” believes they could “pack a big stadium”

By BJPENN.COM Staff - August 11, 2023

ONE Championship’s undefeated two-division MMA king Anatoly Malykhin has wanted a match with Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida for quite a while. But after the BJJ legend’s latest outing, the Russian may have to wait a little longer for that battle.

Anatoly Malykhin and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida

At ONE Fight Night 13, “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane frustrated “Buchecha” with his wrestling and punches over three grueling rounds. The Senegalese star took everything Almeida threw at him and walked away with the unanimous decision.

Many onlookers were fascinated with Kane, but Malykhin – the ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight MMA World Champion – was more impressed with the 17-time BJJ World Champion, especially since this was only his first loss in mixed martial arts.

“If ‘Buchecha’ had a little more experience, could control positions, and throw punches without a rush, he would have easily taken this fight. So, now ‘Buchecha’ needs a little bit of a reboot,” the Russian said.

“He’s a very good fighter. He’s a legend, and it’s not a big deal that he lost. He just needs to pick himself up, get back in the gym, and work hard. And I believe that one day our fight will pack a big stadium.”

ONE Fight Night 13’s victory was a landmark moment for “Reug Reug.” Malykhin, however, was unimpressed, and he’s adamant that both men need to up their workrate to hang with him.

“I won’t say that ‘Buchecha’ was any worse in this fight than ‘Reug Reug.’ I think this fight could have been scored a draw,” the man called “Sladkiy” said.

“They were both so exhausted, they couldn’t even talk after the fight. They have to train smarter and up their cardio, so they don’t get exhausted like that.”

Anatoly Malykhin convinced that contenders don’t want to fight him

In recent times, Anatoly Malykhin has seen many of ONE Championship’s top heavyweight names come out of the woodwork and issue a challenge to him. But the Russian believes it’s all a bluff and, if called upon, none would answer.

“Ask any ONE heavyweight, ‘Would you like to face ‘Sladkiy?’ And one-hundred percent of the answers will be, ‘No,’” he said.

“I’m on a whole different level compared to these guys. My life is running on a tight schedule – crazy workouts, the best family, the best coaching staff. I 100 percent love what I do, and I don’t slip up anywhere. I don’t slack. So, at this point, I’m undefeated.”

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Anatoly Malykhin Marcus Almeida ONE Championship