ONE two-division world champion, Reinier de Ridder, could make a strong case for Fighter of the Year in 2022. It’s hard to name another ONE fighter who can rival the success the middleweight and light-heavyweight world champion has had in the past 12 months.
‘The Dutch Knight’ violently beat down former welterweight king Kiamrian Abbasov, took BJJ icon Andre Galvao to the limit, and slept former middleweight world champion Vitaly Bigdash.
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Even after two successful defenses of his middleweight belt and a high-profile submission grappling match with a BJJ icon, Reinier de Ridder is not quite done yet. On December 2, the Dutch MMA star will defend his light-heavyweight world title against perhaps his most dangerous opponent yet, ONE interim heavyweight king Anatoly ‘Sladkiy’ Malykhin.
The undefeated Russian knockout artist will go down to 225 pounds to challenge the also undefeated de Ridder in Manila, Philippines at ONE on Prime Video 5. Malykhin, being a naturally big heavyweight, will make an arduous effort to cut massive amounts of weight to make the light-heavyweight limit.
The event is live and free for Prime Video subscribers in North America on December 2nd.
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Reinier de Ridder, however, is not very concerned about the possibility of his heavyweight opponent not beating the scale. For him, it will not affect the outcome. In an interview with SCMP MMA, ‘The Dutch Knight’, spoke about the possibility of Malykhin not making 225 pounds:
Watch the full interview here:
Anatoly Malykhin believes Reinier de Ridder would not fare well if he tried to fight at heavyweight. In an interview with ONE Championship, ‘Sladkiy’ gave a stern warning to ‘The Dutch Knight’ to stay away from his weight class:
Malykhin added:
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Whether what Malykhin says is true or not, there might be a huge possibility that if Reinier de Ridder beats him at ONE on Prime Video 5, he might just demand a shot at his heavyweight strap.
‘The Dutch Knight’ has long proclaimed his intention to make history by winning a third belt in a third weight class. If he beats a world champion at heavyweight, he will be that much closer to making that seemingly impossible goal.
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