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Reinier de Ridder draws Shamil Abdulaev at ONE on Prime Video 3

ONE two-division world champion Reinier De Ridder (L) will look to keep his pristine record alive against challenger Shamil Abdulaev (R). | Photos from ONE Championship
ONE two-division world champion Reinier De Ridder (L) will look to keep his pristine record alive against challenger Shamil Abdulaev (R). | Photos from ONE Championship

Two-division world champion Reinier de Ridder will be looking to defend the ONE middleweight world title for the third time when he takes on promotional newcomer and highly regarded Russian Shamil Abdulaev in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 3 on October 21.

The 31-year-old Dutchman, who also holds the ONE light heavyweight championship, is yet to taste defeat in his MMA career. He is riding high on a seven-fight winning streak inside the circle.

Reinier de Ridder came out of the gates hot after joining ONE in 2019, racking up three consecutive wins against Fan Rong, Gilberto Galvao, and Leandro Ataides.

As impressive as those victories were, the ‘Dutch Knight’ rose to global prominence when he dethroned former two-division world champion Aung La N Sang not once, but twice, to claim the middleweight and light heavyweight thrones.

The undefeated world champion has endeared himself to ONE fans for his high-octane fighting style. Reinier de Ridder is never in a boring fight, as evidenced by his astonishing 87.5% finishing rate.

The submission specialist, who trains out of Combat Brothers in the Netherlands, once again showcased how deadly he is on the ground by putting on a grappling clinic against Kiamrian Abbasov in his first title defense last February. The champ-champ weathered the challenger’s early barrage and squeezed the life out of him with a tight arm-triangle choke in round three.

Five months later, the resilient two-division king proved he could fight through adversity as he shook off an early submission scare against former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo black belt managed to escape a suffocating guillotine choke and locked in an inverted triangle to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Reinier de Ridder will have his hands full against Shamil Abdulaev

While Reinier de Ridder would like to keep his pristine 16-0 record, dangerous challenger Shamil Abdulaev won’t make it easy for him.

The Dagestani wrestler will be thrown into the lion’s den right away, as he challenges for a world title in his ONE debut.

Good thing Abdulaev has world championship experience by his side, having won multiple European and Russian titles before joining Asia’s largest martial arts promotion.

The Krepost Fight Club representative boasts a 13-1 record, with his lone defeat coming via a razor-close split decision in 2018. Like Reinier de Ridder, Abdulaev is a proven finisher, with eight wins coming by way of knockout or submission.

Shamil Abdulaev may not be a household name right now, but he’ll be looking to shock the world at ONE on Prime Video 3.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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