Asian MMA

De Ridder Sees Quick Path To The Top For Buchecha

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ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Reinier De Ridder has a full plate.

The Dutchman is in full control of two separate weight divisions, competed against Andre Galvao in a submission grappling contest, and has been eyeing a move to heavyweight with repeated callouts of ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar.

De Ridder Believes Buchecha Will Reach the Top

While the bold undefeated champion has shown little admiration for his foes to date, at least one heavyweight has his ultimate respect — Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.

The multiple-time BJJ World Champion has been an idol for De Ridder. And the Brazilian has been on a tear since transitioning into mixed martial arts with a perfect 3-0 run that has been nothing less than domination.

When De Ridder made his way to America on a training excursion, the two finally got to hit the mats with each other.

“It was a big honor. I came there, I arrived a little late, but they finally let me in. I stepped on the mat, and ‘Buchecha’ was training with someone else. But he said, ‘Let’s train together.’ So we got in like an hour, an hour and a half of straight training,” De Ridder told ONE.

“[We did] a lot of rounds. It was a very good session, a grueling session. And it’s just cool, man. It was cool to train with a guy who I’ve looked up to for a while and to measure myself with his skill set.”

Fully knowing his background and spending time inside the gym with Buchecha, De Ridder is confident that the Brazilian will soon find his way into the title picture.

“The Dutch Knight” noted his ground skills and saw how far his striking has come along already. De Ridder is sure of the bright future ahead of Almeida.

“[His skill set] definitely is [as good as they say]. His takedowns are very, very good. His striking is coming along as well. And as his ground game is next level. So yeah, I think he might be getting up there [against the top guys] sooner,” said De Ridder.

But De Ridder is already going up against the top guys in his division.

“The Dutch Knight” returns to the ONE Championship Circle on Friday, July 22, against Vitaly Bigdash for a ONE Middleweight World Championship main event at ONE 159.

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