Anatoly Malykhin to challenge Reinier de Ridder for third ONE title in March

Anatoly Malykhin wants to become the world’s first three-division champion in MMA, and he will challenge ONE Championship middleweight titleholder Reinier de Ridder in the main event of ONE 166 in Lusail, Qatar, the company announced Thursday.

Malykhin—ranked in the top 15 in two divisions in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings—claimed the the ONE heavyweight and light heavyweight belts in just five bouts under the company’s banner, and is now set to go down to middleweight on March 1 for a chance to claim a third title.

The middleweight class at ONE is 205 pounds under the promotion’s no-dehydration system, with 225 pounds being the light heavyweight limit.

De Ridder (16-1) was a two-division champion at 205 and 225 pounds before losing his light heavyweight title to Malykhin in December 2022, and now sees the 13-0 Russian go for his other title.

Malykhin has a 100 percent knockout rate since joining ONE, stopping the likes of Arjan Bhullar and Kirill Grishenko. The 35-year-old powerhouse has never gone the distance as a professional.

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