For Kirill Grishenko, taking home the interim heavyweight title against Anatoly Malykhin at ONE: Bad Blood matters more to him than anything right now.
“I’ve been called an underdog in each of my fights, but it’s cool for me. I like to prove the opposite, not just to the audience, but to myself. If I’m given a chance, I’ll try to take it. It doesn’t matter what people say,” Grishenko said of his impending matchup with Malykhin.
The 30-year-old Belarusian getting an interim title shot so soon into his stint with ONE Championship may be a surprise to those not familiar with his body of work.
His fight against Dustin Joynson is the best example of what Grishenko is capable of doing with his strikes and smooth wrestling ability after getting the takedown.
It looked as if Joynson was set to be finished in the first round after Grishenko’s onslaught of punches, knees and elbows, but he was able to make it to the end of the fight which was awarded in favor of the Belarusian combatant.
Grishenko acknowledged that Malykhin will be a tough test for him since both men are high-level wrestlers that pack knockout power in their strikes.
However, he is not looking past the speed advantage that Malykhin has.
Although predicting a fight is always a tricky situation especially for the fighters, Grishenko thinks that he can knockout Malykhin.
“I’ve trained for him (Malykhin) seriously and will be ready for all five rounds with him. I don’t have any doubts, I believe in myself–and I’ll go to the end,” he declared.
“Any fighter wants to knock out his opponent, so I’m primed for a knockout.”
Grishenko and Malykhin will now serve as the main event of ONE: Bad Blood after John Lineker was forced to pull out of his title fight with bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes due to COVID-19.
ONE: Bad Blood will be streaming live on the ONE Super App and the official ONE Championship YouTube channel at 8:30 PM SGT (7:30 AM ET in the United States) on Friday, February 11.
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