Reinier de Ridder Eyeing ‘Triple-Champ’ Status After Win At ONE On Prime Video 5

Reinier de Ridder’s dominance in the ONE Championship Circle has been formidable. Having captured the middleweight and light heavyweight crowns across his 7-0 slate in the Singapore-based promotion, “The Dutch Knight” is now eyeing an unheard-of third World Title.

He has been most vocal about his quest to take on the top competitors in the heavyweight division, and he’ll get a chance to test his mettle against interim titleholder Anatoly Malykhin in the main event of ONE On Prime Video 5 on Friday, 2nd December.

The Russian behemoth is dropping in weight to challenge De Ridder’s light heavyweight throne, and one of the major talking points has been the size difference between the pair.

While it is something he is aware of, the two-division king remains unfazed as he makes final preparations for his fourth outing in the Circle this year.

“It’ll be noticeable. It will feel like I’m the bigger guy, because I’m the taller, lankier guy. I’ll be stronger in the clinch, so it doesn’t really factor into it. Of course, every guy is more open to certain moves and he’ll be open to certain takedowns than he is open to different ones. I’ll adjust accordingly,” De Ridder said.

“I’m trying to gain some weight, but it’s not that easy for me, especially when I’m training like a madman. It’s almost hard to keep the weight on. I’ve gained a couple of kilos, but you won’t see me coming in like 102 kilos.”

ONE’s heavyweight division has been in limbo of late. With ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar unavailable to defend his crown, Malykhin stepped in and won the interim World Title earlier this year. The two were scheduled to unify the straps in September, but Bhullar was forced to pull out due to injury.

“Sladkiy” was keen to stay active, however, so he jumped at the opportunity to face De Ridder when ONE offered him the fight. In “The Dutch Knight’s” opinion, this proves that his upcoming foe has a World Champion’s mentality, so he feels he will be facing the true king of the heavyweight division next Friday evening.

“I think if I put Malykhin away decisively like I’m planning to, then maybe Arjan would be nice – if we can ever see him in the cage again. Malykhin is the real heavyweight champ, as far as I’m concerned, because Bhullar has been inactive for so long. But yeah, we’ll have to see how this fight turns out. But if it happens the way I have envisioned it, I don’t think another fight is needed.”

ONE On Prime Video 5: de Ridder vs. Malykhin goes down on Friday, 2nd December at 2am. You can watch live at WATCH.ONE.FC.COM

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma