Reinier De Ridder is arguably one of the world’s pound-for-pound best mixed martial artists. He is perfect in his professional career with 16 consecutive victories and, perhaps more impressively, is a two-division ONE Championship World Champion. “The Dutch Knight” will have his biggest test on Friday, December 2, at ONE on Prime Video 5.
De Ridder will put his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title on the line against Anatoly Malykhin in the main event. The Russian is also undefeated and currently the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion. As the champion vs. champion matchups continue in ONE, De Ridder has a chance to further his case for being at the top of all the superlative lists.
He took both belts from Aung La N Sang and promptly defended the middleweight title against ONE Welterweight World Champion, Kiamrian Abbasov as well as Vitaly Bigdash in impressive submission performances. As he gears up for his first light heavyweight defense, the Dutchman is beaming with confidence.
So much so that he has no trouble telling the world how he would do against the UFC’s top middleweight athletes. In an interview with Morning Kombat’s Brian Campbell, De Ridder said he would easily take down both Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira. Following their recent clash at UFC 281, De Ridder laughed when describing how he would perform against the two stars.
“Look, those guys, you saw the fight, man. It’s like two blue belts grappling when they grapple, to be honest. And, um, I think I could beat both those guys in the same night, man. Give me co-main event Adesanya, main event Pereira, and I’d finish them both,” said De Ridder.
Both that is part of his charm. De Ridder has a nonchalant confidence about him, and it is beginning to develop an aura around him. While some may see it as being cocky, De Ridder has backed up his talk. And he is not afraid of competition. In fact, he seeks it out.
“This MMA thing, it’s a weird thing because you’re always looking for the hardest challenge. You’re always looking for the next best guy. Sometimes I feel like an old-school warrior thing, you know. Like looking for a hero’s death. You’re looking for the best guy who might be able to beat you,” said De Ridder.
If “The Dutch Knight” can topple the unbeaten Malykhin, he may get his next wish. De Ridder has routinely called for a shot at the ONE Heavyweight World Championship. If he could claim a third title, he would become the sport’s first-ever three-division World Champion. De Ridder deserves more recognition as one of the world’s best combat sports athletes, and his next challenge will force the world to take notice.
Name a fighter outside the UFC that if they signed with the UFC right now would shake up their division like crazy.
I’ll start: Reinier de Ridder at 185,205. pic.twitter.com/Ks2vXSJ81Q
— Knuckles 👊 (@knuckles_stan) November 21, 2022
ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin airs live at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST live and free to all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.