A colossal World Champion vs. World Champion encounter between undefeated mixed martial artists is officially set to headline ONE on Prime Video 5 on Friday, December 2.
ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin will drop down a division and challenge two-division king Reinier de Ridder for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
De Ridder holds both the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Championships and has been unstoppable in his MMA career to date.
“The Dutch Knight” owns an unblemished 16-0 record, which includes seven straight wins inside the Circle and four World Title victories.
A BJJ and judo black belt, De Ridder has used his elite grappling to defeat everybody in his path, including former two-division titleholder Aung La N Sang, reigning welterweight king Kiamrian Abbasov, and former middleweight ruler Vitaly Bigddash.
This will be his first defense of the light heavyweight crown following a pair of successful defenses at middleweight.
Meanwhile, ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Malykhin has been hoping for a unification bout with ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar, but after their proposed September meeting fell through, the Russian is now on a different hunt.
Also unbeaten at 11-0, “Sladkiy” is cutting down to light heavyweight to chase gold in a second division.
He’s already scored a trio of stoppage wins in ONE’s heavyweight ranks, including his World Title-winning knockout of Kirill Grishenko – but he’s also been eyeing De Ridder’s belt for a while.
If he can usurp the Dutch grappler, Malykhin would become one of the rare athletes to hold ONE World Titles in multiple weight classes – a group De Ridder currently finds himself in.
“The Dutch Knight’s” ability to get the match to the floor – where he’s most dominant – will be put to the test by Malykhin’s freestyle wrestling pedigree.
On the feet, De Ridder will have the range, but the Russian’s concussive punches will give him the edge in power, setting up an intriguing and historic battle.
Along with this massive main event, a pair of all-striking World Title bouts have already been confirmed for ONE on Prime Video 5.
In one matchup, Thai superstar Superbon Singha Mawynn will defend his ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title against ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion and #1 contender Chingiz Allazov.
Stay tuned to onefc.com for future updates on the December 2 card.