5 Reasons Why Reinier De Ridder Has Dominated The Middleweight MMA Division

Reinier de Ridder walks with confidence at ONE X: Part I

Reinier de Ridder has been an unstoppable force since he first stepped onto the global stage back in 2019.

“The Dutch Knight” has notched six straight victories inside the Circle, and he’s aiming for number seven when he defends the ONE Middleweight World Title against Vitaly Bigdash in the main event of ONE 159 on Friday, July 22.

Though the Combat Brothers athlete also holds the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title, his natural home is in the lower weight class, where he’s looked absolutely dominant.

Check out five reasons why De Ridder is the most dangerous middleweight in the world before he returns to action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

#1 He’s Undefeated

A flawless record isn’t everything for a martial artist, but when it comes with two World Titles, it’s impossible to deny their greatness.

De Ridder is 15-0 in his professional MMA career to date, and he’s amassed that slate against some elite opposition.

The Dutchman defeated Myanmar icon Aung La N Sang twice to capture the middleweight and light heavyweight belts, and he also defended his lighter gold against ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov

All of that adds up to an impressive resume, and it gives the 31-year-old an air of invincibility every time he steps into the Circle.

#2 His Takedowns Are Unstoppable

De Ridder started his martial arts journey with judo, earning a black belt in the art along with some regional accolades.

When he added BJJ to his arsenal and made the switch to MMA, he brought those judo skills and also added more wrestling techniques to his all-around game. 

“The Dutch Knight” now combines his trips and sweeps with single- and double-leg takedowns that give him a lot of ways to drag a contest to the canvas. 

So far, he hasn’t faced an opponent who can stop his takedowns. And astonishingly, he took down Aung La N Sang 12 times in 12 attempts in their last five-round encounter. 

#3 His Submission Skills Are Amazing

Once De Ridder has his opponent on the canvas, he’s even more potent. 

“The Dutch Knight” has submitted 10 of his 15 foes – seven of them in the opening round – so he knows how to finish the job.

The BJJ black belt has a penchant for chokes, and his grappling prowess means he usually advances to a dominant position before he locks up his victory.

From mount, side control, or back control, the Combat Brothers representative offers up a variety of attacks, with his favorites including the rear-naked choke and arm-triangle choke. 

#4 He’s A Physical Monster

It’s the skills that pay the bills for De Ridder, but his physical attributes also help.

Standing at a strapping 6-foot-4, he’s the tallest athlete outside of the heavyweight division, and he knows how to use it. 

He can utilize his strength to help him complete takedowns, and his significant size is a burden when his opponents are stuck underneath him. 

“The Dutch Knight’s” long limbs certainly help his striking, but they’re also an asset when it comes to locking up chokes or controlling opponents with body triangles when he has their back. 

#5 He Trains With The Best And Keeps Evolving 

Some athletes reach the top and think they have all the tools needed to stay there, but the two-division king is a student of the game who always wants to get better.

MMA icon Gegard Mousasi is one of the Dutchman’s daily training partners back home, and De Ridder also travels abroad to learn from the best. 

Recently, “The Dutch Knight” visited Sanford MMA in Florida to mix it up with old foe Aung La N Sang.

He then spent time on the mats with 17-time BJJ World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida at American Top Team before training under legendary grappling coach John Danaher in Texas.

With that humility and willingness to learn, “The Dutch Knight” is only going to keep improving – and that’s a scary prospect for his future challengers. 

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