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Watch: Vitaly Bigdash's rubber match with Aung La N Sang before challenging Reinier de Ridder for the middleweight title at ONE 159 

Former ONE middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash (right) beat his rival Aung La N Sang in a rubber match back in February of this year. (Images courtesy of ONE Championship)
Former ONE middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash (right) beat his rival Aung La N Sang in a rubber match back in February of this year. (Images courtesy of ONE Championship)
Duane Lucas Pascua

At ONE: Full Circle back in February, former ONE middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash fought his rival, fellow former champ Aung La N Sang, to settle the score. Rubber matches are always interesting to watch as they have higher stakes and drama than your usual bouts.

With one win apiece and exchanging titles in the process, Bigdash and Aung La entered their 11th round with title aspirations in mind. It wasn't just about settling the score, it was also about finding out who will face the middleweight king next.

Both fighters have had decision wins over each other and have fought each other in the cage for almost an hour. Vitaly Bigdash and Aung La are so familiar with one another that coming into the fight, we're excited to see who can surprise who.

Turns out, it was Bigdash. Perhaps taking note of Aung La's loss to champ-champ Reinier de Ridder, Bigdash went on a grappling barrage on 'The Burmese Python'. The gameplan paid off well as the Burmese former champ had very little answer to Bigdash's takedowns and ground attacks. In the end, the Russian was handed a well-earned decision win over his long-time rival.

Watch the full fight highlights here:

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Vitaly Bigdash will challenge Reinier de Ridder for the ONE middleweight title at ONE 159

With his win over Aung La N Sang back in February, Vitaly Bigdash has officially punched his ticket to a title bout at ONE 159. Bigdash will face ONE double champion Reinier de Ridder for the middleweight belt on July 22, 2022.

BigSports Illustrated first broke the news, with ONE resharing it on Instagram:

"🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨 Reinier de Ridder defends the ONE Middleweight World Title against Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159 on 22 July! @deriddermma @vitaly_bigdash#ONE159 | 22 July"

Check out the post below:

Reinier de Ridder has been riding great momentum this year with his utter dismantling of ONE welterweight champ Kiamrian Abbasov at ONE: Full Circle and his impressive showing against grappling legend Andre Galvao in ONE X. Bigdash, on the other hand, had three straight wins dating all the way back to 2018.

This showdown will surely be exciting as Bigdash is no stranger to championship fights and might be able to match de Ridder's expertise on the ground.


Edited by C. Naik

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