Anatoly Malykhin becomes three-division world champion with TKO finish of Reinier de Ridder – ONE 166 Highlights

Anatoly Malykhin

Russian juggernaut Anatoly Malykhin made MMA history, becoming the first fighter to hold world championships in three different divisions simultaneously.

Already holding both the ONE light heavyweight and heavyweight titles, ‘Sladkiy’ returned to the Circle at ONE 166 in Qatar for a main event showdown with middleweight MMA champion Reinier de Ridder. After succumbing to a first-round KO in their first meeting in December 2022, ‘The Dutch Knight’ fared much better in the early going, using his clinch work to stop Malykhin’s frequent onslaughts.

However, de Ridder’s defense-heavy style couldn’t hold up to the continued attacks, particularly as Anatoly Malykhin began to viciously attack his opponent’s body in the second round.

READ MORE:  Charles Oliveira targets quickfire return after UFC 300, rematch fight with Max Holloway: 'It would be wonderful'

Coming out for round three, Reinier de Ridder quickly shot in for a desperation takedown attempt which Malykhin easily defended. Ending up on top, ‘Sladkiy’ landed some ground-and-pound strikes, including a couple of well-placed knees before RDR could muster the energy to roll through to his back. Recognizing the impeccable ground game of the Dutchman, Malykin quickly disengaged and got back to his feet.

De Ridder, on the other hand, was exhausted. So much so that he couldn’t muster the energy necessary to stand up and continue, forcing referee Herb Dean to call for the stoppage.

Official Result: Anatoly Malykhin def. Reinier de Ridder via TKO (ground and pound) at 1:16 of Round 3 to win the ONE middleweight MMA world championship

READ MORE:  Charles Oliveira addresses controversial loss to Arman Tsarukayan at UFC 300: 'It wasn't meant to be'

With the victory, Anatoly Malykhin maintained his undefeated record, moving to 14-0. He also kept his 100% finish rate intact and became MMA’s first-ever three-sport world champion.

Check Out Highlights From Anatoly Malykhin vs. Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: