ONE on Prime Video 5 preview and predictions: Reinier de Ridder vs. Anatoly Malykhin

Reinier de Ridder (L) and Anatoly Malykhin (R) will figure in a battle of undefeated world champions. | Photo by ONE Championship
Reinier de Ridder (L) and Anatoly Malykhin (R) will figure in a battle of undefeated world champions. | Photo by ONE Championship

ONE Championship literally brought out the big guns for its fifth and final ONE on Prime Video event of 2022, pitting two-division world champion Reinier de Ridder against an absolute destroyer in Anatoly Malykhin.

What happens when two undefeated titans square off inside the circle?

We’re going to find out soon enough, as two proven finishers lock horns for the ONE light heavyweight world title in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin.

De Ridder’s first defense of his 225-lb world title will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila Philippines this Friday, December 2 (US Primetime).

Given both fighters’ track records of ending their opponents early, North American fans will surely have a blast with this one since it will be streamed live and for free for Amazon Prime Video subscribers in America and Canada.

With 11 submissions in 16 career victories, de Ridder is considered one of the best grapplers in mixed martial arts.

Malykhin, on the other hand, has turned the lights out on 9 of his 11 opponents, with seven of those coming by way of first-round knockouts.

As always, Sportskeeda’s panel of ONE Championship experts sent in their predictions for this monumental match of epic proportions.

Ben Imperial: Reinier de Ridder by round three submission

I hate that one of Anatoly Malykhin and Reinier de Ridder have to lose this match. They seem like such fun characters despite their dominant natures in the circle. Both of them have easily defeated the "biggest challenges" of their careers like it was just another Tuesday in the gym.

I don't think this match ends in the first round. Action will be tentative at the start, with both men knowing full well what the other is capable of. Malykhin will push forward as he tends to, but the fight will find its way to the ground somehow.

The second round will find a more cautious Anatoly and a more aggressive Reinier de Ridder, which I think will see the end of this bout. Against Vitaly Bigdash, de Ridder got tagged with a hard right hand in their first exchange. While he ate that and went on with his business, can he take a hit like that from Anatoly Malykhin?

If he doesn't get dropped with a shot like that, then he'll be able to eventually get his submission. Otherwise, Malykhin will turn his lights out after their first big exchange.

Vince Richards: Reinier de Ridder by submission

This might just be the biggest fight in ONE Championship history. Reinier de Ridder and Anatoly Malykhin are absolute fighting machines who are fully capable of ending anyone inside the circle.

De Ridder is, arguably, the greatest submission expert in the sport while Malykhin is a knockout artist of the highest caliber.

The ONE middleweight and light heavyweight world champion is also a deceptive striker who uses his lanky 6ft4 frame to tag his opponents from distance. Malykhin, the ONE interim heavyweight world champion, is also a quality grappler owing to his wrestling base.

If anyone thinks that this would be a chess match, then there’s a likelihood where that assumption will be blown out of the water. The two world champions will look to impose their style as quickly as possible and whoever does so might just get the finish.

I see this fight going Reinier de Ridder’s way as he’s faster and longer than Malykhin. He’ll use the distance to get his shots in and it won’t be long before ‘The Dutch Knight’ catches a limb for that submission win.

While I don’t know what exact round De Ridder will get the finish, I expect that he’ll get the submission win.

Ted Razon: Reinier de Ridder by second round submission

It’s truly hard to pick a winner between these two larger-than-life individuals.

De Ridder and Malykhin are both likable in and out of the circle. However, it’s the fight game and only one of them gets their hand raised at the end of the evening.

‘The Dutch Knight’ is in the prime of his career and I believe he’ll secure the biggest win of his life against Malykhin.

Both fighters have the best chance of finishing each other in the first round.

Malykhin does have the greatest puncher’s chance in the entire promotion, and he could land one of those haymakers early if he catches De Ridder off guard.

However, De Ridder is too smart and he’ll figure out the Russian’s rhythm as the fight continues, so a KO might be hard to come by if the fight goes long.

The Dutchman, meanwhile, can also get a quick win if he bypasses Malykhin’s wrestling early on. While both fighters are still dry, that’s the best time to lock in one of RDR’s patented chokes and locks.

I see this fight going to the second round, where Anatoly might be too winded following his weight cut. The light heavyweight division is unfamiliar territory to him after all.

Reinier de Ridder will clinch him up against the circle wall and take him down and proceed right to mount.

'The Dutch Knight' will soften him up with some ground and pound. Once Malykhin turtles up and covers his face, the double champ with snatch one of his exposed arms and lock in an arm-triangle choke as he did against Kiamrian Abbasov.

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Edited by Dave
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