Reinier de Ridder has proven to be one of the most dangerous men on the planet.
The current ONE Championship Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titleholder is flawless thus far in his 16-fight mixed martial arts (MMA) career. As a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo, de Ridder’s grappling is arguably the very best in both of his divisions worldwide and his 11-career submission victories support that.
Because of his skill set, “The Dutch Knight” sees no reason that he couldn’t find great success in bouts against Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) best no matter the weight.
“In the UFC, you have [Alex] Pereira coming up now, and he’s basically just a striker, easy match-up,” De Ridder told South China Morning Post. “[UFC Middleweight champion Israel] Adesanya is a pretty easy match-up, to be honest. Maybe like Derek Brunson would be tougher. Robert Whittaker is definitely a harder match-up than Pereira and Adesanya.
“I’m a little heavier nowadays than I was, but I can make 84 kilos (185 pounds) pretty easily if I diet well, if I do the weight cut well. That would be my natural weight,” he continued. “But Light Heavyweight is still an option. I’m still taller than those guys like [Jiri] Prochazka, Jan [Blachowicz], so that would also work. Those guys are basically just strikers as well. Prochazka, he got dominated in the grappling department last time, kinda.”
de Ridder most recently defended his 205-pound title against former champion, Vitaly Bigdash, late last month (July 22, 2022) at ONE 159. In vintage fashion, “RDR” locked on an ultra-slick submission and Bigdash went to sleep in round one via an inverted triangle choke (watch highlights).
Despite his confidence against his fellow elite-level UFC counterparts, de Ridder did want to make it clear that he is happy with his treatment from ONE. With two titles already on each shoulder, the Dutchman likes the idea of next pursuing a third at Heavyweight.
“They’re into it, but not as into it as I am,” de Ridder said of him challenging for the Heavyweight title. “They want to do the guys first, [ONE Heavyweight champion Arjan] Bhullar and [Anatoly] Malykhin. I think they’ve already set it up. We’re waiting to hear it be announced.”
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Reinier de Ridder