Fans of ONE Championship have been eagerly anticipating the title unification bout between Arjan Bhullar and Anatoly Malykhin, which was originally scheduled for March 24th. Unfortunately, the fight has been delayed once again due to unforeseen circumstances.
The bout will now be rearranged to a later time in 2023, according to ONE Championship executives, who claim that it was called off "due to a shift in broadcaster obligations." Claro Sports was the initial outlet to release the information. Whereas Superlek versus Rodtang's flyweight kickboxing match has been elevated to the main event position.
It is the second time their meeting has been postponed after Bhullar was forced out of a planned September fight with an injury. Bhullar acknowledged that having to put off his upcoming fight unexpectedly is extremely upsetting in an interview with MMA Fighting on Wednesday.
“Chatri got on the phone with me multiple times through this so I thank him and the organization for that,” Bhullar said. “Very, very frustrating, and I’m sure for my opponent as well, for my coaches, for my family. It’s not just a fighter that trains and gets ready for a fight, right? For the whole team. We were so ready to get going, but there’s partners that make fights happen. You need an opponent, you need the company to put it on, you have broadcast partners, all of that.”
When the fight does eventually take place, it is sure to be an explosive showdown between two of the most talented heavyweights in the world. Arjan Bhullar is a wrestler with heavy hands and an impressive record of 11-1. He is the current ONE Heavyweight World Champion, having defeated Brandon Vera by second-round TKO in his last fight. It was his first title defense since winning the title in 2019.
Malykhin (12-0) of Russia has been a lot busier. The 35-year-old made his ONE debut in 2021 with two swift knockout victories over Alexandre Machado and Amir Aliakbari. In February of last year, he defeated Kirill Grishenko to capture the interim heavyweight championship.
After waiting for Bhullar's recovery for most of 2022, he moved to light heavyweight, whereupon he secured the title by brutally stopping the formerly undefeated Reinier de Ridder in the first round.
As we wait for the new date of the fight to be announced, fans can continue to follow the exciting world of ONE Championship and stay up to date on all the latest news and developments. While the delay may be disappointing, it only adds to the excitement and anticipation for when these two titans finally do face off in the ring.