Reinier de Ridder considers himself a mixed martial arts fighter more than anything else but welcomes the opportunity to test his other skills in a different discipline, particularly submission grappling.
The reigning ONE middleweight world champion has an opportunity to do the same later this year when he collides with American Tye Ruotolo in a grappling contest at ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video in Colorado, U.S.A.
The match will be a full circle moment for Reinier de Ridder, who last fought in submission grappling against Andre Galvao – Ruotolo’s mentor – at ONE X in March last year. The contest ended in a draw.
Speaking to ONE Championship, 'The Dutch Knight' shared that it is going to be a “cool” experience to be grappling against Ruotolo after taking on his mentor Galvao previously.
Reinier de Ridder said:
“I expected something like that. It’s very cool that I got a shot at this. I got to grapple Andre Galvao, and I get to grapple Tye Ruotolo, who’s one of the hottest prospects right now in grappling.”
The Combat Brothers affiliate added:
“I’m not even a grappler. I’m an MMA fighter, so it’s very cool that I get this opportunity.”
Reinier de Ridder is looking to use the Ruotolo fight to bounce back after sustaining his first defeat in ONE last December, where he lost in an MMA match to Russian Anatoly Malykhin by knockout in the opening round. The loss saw him surrender ONE light heavyweight gold, which he also previously held.
His opponent Ruotolo, meanwhile, seeks to stay unbeaten in ONE submission grappling. He also fought in December and defeated Marat Gafurov by submission.
ONE Fight Night 10 will take place on May 5 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. It will be the first-ever live on-ground event of ONE in the U.S. The event will be aired live and for free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America.
Reinier de Ridder trolls the Ruotolo brothers
“The Dutch Knight” makes his return to the sport in a submission grappling super-fight against American phenom Tye Ruotolo at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5 in Broomfield, Colorado, U.S.A.
Before the fight was even conceived, Reinier de Ridder had already expressed interest in engaging Ruotolo in a grappling match. On Instagram, the Dutch fighter posted a photo of himself and his opponent, along with his twin brother Kade, with a caption calling out the brothers for a grappling showdown. The caption read:
"Here's a picture of me and my sons. Do you think one of them can beat their dad in a grappling match already?"
The fighters expressed excitement to mix it up in ONE’s landmark event in the U.S., seeing how their showdown will help in the promotion’s conscious effort to expand its offering beyond mixed martial arts.