ONE Championship will finish out the month of January with an interim heavyweight title fight.
Only the Brave, which takes place on January 28, 2022, will see heavyweight contenders Anatoly Malykhin (10-0) and Kirill Grishenko (5-0) face off with the interim belt on the line. The fight, which will headline the card, was announced by promotion officials on Monday.
ONE’s undisputed heavyweight title is currently held by Canada’s Arjan Singh Bhullar. Although Canada is currently experiencing skyrocketing cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong hinted at other issues creating the need for an interim title.
“Arjan and his management team have declined multiple offers to defend the ONE heavyweight world championship under his current contract,” he told the South China Morning Post in conjunction with the fight’s announcement. “While this plays out, the show must go on in our heavyweight division, so we will be crowning an interim world champion between top contenders Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko.”
Malykhin has won both his fights under the ONE Championship banner thus far, and has remained perfect through his 10-fight professional career. Most recently, he defeated Iranian wrestling champion and RIZIN veteran Amir Aliakbari via knockout.
Grishenko, also undefeated, has two wins under inside the ONE circle as well. The Belarusian fighter shocked MMA fans when he defeated the massive Ourmar Kane in April of this year. After that successful promotional debut, Grishenko defeated Dustin Joynson via a unanimous decision in October.
No other fights have been announced for ONE Championship: Only the Brave thus far.