Arjan Bhullar, the heavyweight world champion for ONE, wants to schedule a match as early as feasible. Bhullar engaged in lengthy contract discussions with ONE Championship after defeating former champion Brandon 'The Truth' Vera at ONE: Dangal in 2021, which kept him out of action for several months.
He resumed training after the final arrangements were worked out, but he later hurt himself, decommissioning him indefinitely. Anatoly Malykhin, who will attempt to dethrone Reinier de Ridder at the light heavyweight division this weekend, was named the interim heavyweight world champion by ONE Championship during that period.
Arjan Bhullar wishes to get the battle as soon as possible so that he could remind his enemies who the real king of the division is and wants the victor. Bhullar stated in the same interview with ONE Championship:
“I’m recovered. I was cleared [on] November 7, and I have let the company know. These guys are fighting on December 2. Book me for December 3. Send the contract. I want to get booked. I want to get active.”
But this weekend, a huge world title battle will take place before he returns to the ring.
When ONE Championship comes to the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, Reinier de Ridder, the two-division ONE world champion, will compete against Anatoly "Sladkiy" Malykhin, the interim ONE heavyweight world champion, in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 5.
It will make sense for Arjan Bhullar to compete against the victor between de Ridder and Malykhin, assuming he is prepared to compete shortly in the following year. But if he had his way, he would prefer to unify the titles with the acting champion Malykhin.
Bhullar recently spoke with ONE Championship and stated:
“[The next fight] is going to be either Malykhin – to get his fake title out of there and shut his mouth up – or it’s going to be the winner of Brandon Vera vs. Amir Aliakbari, and I [would] like Amir as well. That’s what makes sense for me. And then I drop down to fight RDR [at light heavyweight] after that. That’s the ideal path for me.”