(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
The interim heavyweight title was on the line at ONE: ‘Bad Blood’ in Singapore on Friday night (local time). Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko went head to head with the belt on the line and the former won the contest convincingly.
Grishenko was on his bicycle right from the opening bell. The Belarusian was backtracking furiously as Malykhin came out looking to finish the fight with punches.
Malykhin was struggling to find his range against the taller opponent who was circling away and slipping the punches. But on one of the rare occasions that Grishenko did try to go on the offensive his kick was caught and he was swept to the ground.
Malykhin spent the remainder of the round in top position, softening his opponent up with ground and pound until the bell. He landed a solid left hand at the start of the second round and started chasing Grishenko all around the cage but couldn’t connect.
The Belarusian seemed content to evade Malykhin’s punches, possibly hoping the Russian would run out of steam. But midway through the second round he lunged forwards and threw a right hook that knocked Grishenko out cold.
The finish came at the 3:42 mark and with the win Malykhin improves to 11-0 while Grishenko drops to 5-1. A unification bout with regular champion Arjan Bhullar, who has settled his contractual dispute with ONE Championship, awaits.
Sung Hoon Woo (9-2) had a ONE Championship debut to remember. He needed just 18 seconds to knock out Yodkaikaew Fairtex (7-4-1) and was awarded a $50,000 USD bonus for his efforts.
Chen Rui (10-3) and Mark Abelardo (20-9) put on the fight of the night. The Chinese fighter started strongly but the New Zealander rallied in the final two rounds which made for some thrilling exchanges.
ONE: ‘Bad Blood’, Singapore, February 11th
- Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko by KO (Punch) at 3:42 of R2
- Muay Thai: Jonathan Haggerty def. Mongkolpetch Petchyindee via Decision (Unanimous)
- Chen Rui def. Mark Abelardo via Decision (Unanimous)
- Jihin Radzuan def. Mei Yamaguchi via Decision (Unanimous)
- Sung Hoon Woo def. Yodkaikaew Fairtex via KO (Punches) at 0:18
- Danial Williams def. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke via KO (Body Punch) at 1:35 of R2
- Dustin Joynson def. Hugo Cunha via Decision (Split)
- Heqin Lin def. Bi Nguyen via Decision (Unanimous)
- Odie Delaney def. Thomas Narmo via Submission (Shoulder Lock) at 1:06 of R1
- Tial Thang vs. Sunoto ends in a DQ (Illegal blows)