ONE Championship features several world-class BJJ competitors that have transitioned to MMA, including Buchecha and Garry Tonon. Meanwhile, De Ridder has made his legacy in MMA but has elite grappling skills that helped him become a two-division world champion.
‘The Dutch Knight’ has shown interest in transitioning to the heavyweight division, where Buchecha, a 17x BJJ world champion, is inching towards a world title shot. During an interview with Brian Campbell of Morning Kombat, De Ridder had this to say about the ONE heavyweight division:
“There’s still a lot of guys out there who will get a shot one day. There’s a lot of cool guys at ONE as well. At heavyweight, there’s a lot of cool options. I’d fight at heavyweight as well. Like, Buchecha would be a big honor for me to fight.”
De Ridder vs. Buchecha would create some major buzz in the MMA community. Although ‘The Dutch Knight’ has more experience, grappling with a BJJ legend like the 32-year-old Brazilian could be a mistake.
For now, the two-division world champion is focused on defending his light heavyweight crown against ONE interim heavyweight world champion Anatoly Malykhin at ONE on Prime Video 5.
Watch Reinier De Ridder's interview with Brian Campbell of Morning Kombat below:
Reinier de Ridder would compete in ONE submission grappling again if offered a worthy opponent
Reinier de Ridder competed under ONE Championship’s submission grappling ruleset at ONE X against Andre Galvao. The match finished in a draw, but ‘The Dutch Knight’ proved his grappling skills were world-class against the 7x BJJ world champion.
During the same interview with Brian Campbell of Morning Kombat, De Ridder had this to say about competing in submission grappling again:
“Definitely, I’d be down for that, like if they have a good opponent for me. But MMA is the main thing. MMA is the focus… The focus is definitely in MMA. But if the right name comes along, I’d take a grappling fight. When MMA is done and I’m 40 years old, I’ll do some more masters competitions, I guess.”
A submission grappling match would still be intriguing if an MMA fight between De Ridder and Buchecha doesn’t materialize. ‘The Dutch Knight’ has dominated his MMA opponents with his submissions, but the two-division world champion has shown that his grappling skills can be dominant against world-class jiu-jitsu players too.