3 reasons Reinier de Ridder is such a dangerous fighter

Reinier de Ridder [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]
Reinier de Ridder [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]

Reigning two-division ONE world champion, 'The Dutch Knight' Reinier de Ridder, first brought his skills to the circle in 2019 and has yet to suffer defeat in his mixed martial arts career. At an impressive 15-0 professional clip, Reinier de Ridder has scored 13 finishes, 10 of which have come via submission.

Holder of the promotion’s middleweight and light heavyweight belts, Reinier de Ridder has already etched his name in the history books. However, even with all of his accomplishments, ‘The Dutch Knight’ plans to add the ONE heavyweight world championship to his mantle in the near future and become the first mixed martial artist to hold three different world titles simultaneously.

Ahead of his ONE middleweight world championship clash with former world champion Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159 on July 22nd, we take a look at three reasons why Reinier de Ridder is such a dangerous fighter.

#3 - Reinier de Ridder doesn’t know how to lose

While most fans associate Reinier de Ridder with elite-level grappling and breathtaking submissions, ‘The Dutch Knight’ is an incredibly well-rounded fighter who can put away fighters on the feet just as easily as he can on the mat.

For a while, de Ridder was the promotion’s best-kept secret. That all changed on October 30, 2020 at ONE: Inside the Matrix. ‘The Dutch Knight’ met then two-belt world champion Aung La Nsang for the middleweight world title. de Ridder shocked the MMA world when he defeated ‘The Burmese Python’ via submission in the very first round.

Many fans within the MMA community, especially those belonging to Aung La, called Reinier de Ridder’s win a fluke. The Dutchman put that talk to rest when he stepped in on late notice to take on ‘The Burmese Python’ at ONE on TNT IV in April 2021 for the light heavyweight world title.

Aung La was originally scheduled to face Vitaly Bigdash, but de Ridder stepped in on a week’s notice when the Russian fighter withdrew due to COVID-19 protocols. Reinier de Ridder scored a unanimous decision victory, putting an exclamation mark on his rivalry with Aung La and earning him his second world title.


#2 - Trains with the best

To become one of the best fighters in the world, it helps to train with the best. In addition to having Gegard Mousasi as one of his main training partners, ‘The Dutch Knight’ has the opportunity to work with two other quality fighters: Aung La Nsang and streaking heavyweight contender Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida, which happened during a trip to the United States in April.

While speaking to ONE Championship, de Ridder talked about his time training with 17-time BJJ world champion Almeida, discussing his excitement for the opportunity to roll with someone he himself looks up to.

“[Almeida and I 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.”

de Ridder also had the opportunity to train with ONE Championship contender Garry Tonon and Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher during his trip to the States. de Ridder shared an image of his trip to Austin, TX to train with Danaher and his crew, saying that he flew to “jiu-jitsu heaven.”

“I have died and gone to Jiu-Jitsu heaven, or I flew to Jiu-Jitsu heaven and died there. But I definitely feel dead right now. Life is good, thank you guys.”

#1 - Unmatched grappling prowess

Similar to Asian MMA legend Shinya Aoki, Reinier de Ridder is widely considered to be one of the best MMA grapplers in the entire world. With 10 submission victories in 15 total fights, ‘The Dutch Knight’ has stood out amongst his peers for his unmatched grappling prowess.

ONE Championship featured de Ridder in a submission grappling bout, something typically reserved for the best of the best, at the promotion’s 10th-anniversary event ONE X in March. There, de Ridder faced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Andre Galvao who was recently inducted into the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Hall of Fame.

‘The Dutch Knight’ more than held his own against an all-time great, and the bout was declared a draw after 12 minutes.

Since the age of five, Reinier D\de Ridder has studied the world of competitive grappling, beginning with judo and moving on to BJJ before making his transition into mixed martial arts. Along the way, ‘The Dutch Knight’ has surrounded himself with the best trainers, submission grapplers, and mixed martial artists in the world. As a result, De Ridder has become one of the promotion’s premier grapplers whose dominance is both fear-inducing and awe-inspiring.

At 31 years old, ‘The Dutch Knight’ still has a lot of years of competition ahead. After accomplishing so much, de Ridder still strives for greatness and plans to leave his mark on the world of MMA before it’s all said and done.

Fans will get the opportunity to see Reinier de Ridder in action at ONE 159 when he meets middleweight rival Vitaly Bigdash in a main event clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on July 22nd.


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