Reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder might be facing his toughest challenge yet, but the undefeated superstar claims he can read his upcoming opponent like an open book.
The 31-year-old began studying Bigdash extensively once the fight was made official, and while he respects the Russian’s mindset, he thinks the match will quickly turn in his own favor.
“The Dutch Knight” told ONE Championship:
“[Bigdash] takes his time, picks his shots. There are a lot of single shots on the feet which is smart sometimes. His shots are pretty straight, pretty clean. But he’s predictable, and he gets tired very easily.”
De Ridder joined ONE Championship in 2019 and has strung together a six-fight winning streak in the Circle.
He captured the middleweight gold with a first-round submission of former titleholder Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang in October 2020 and then added the light heavyweight strap just six months later with another victory over the Myanmar icon.
Overall, “The Dutch Knight” has won 10 of his 15 career bouts via submission, earning a reputation as one of the finest grapplers in all of mixed martial arts.
Meanwhile, Bigdash is coming off three significant victories against fellow middleweight contenders.
The latest was a dominant unanimous decision over Aung La N Sang in February that concluded their epic trilogy and earned the Russian a shot to regain the middleweight crown.
However, De Ridder watched that three-round affair and was hardly impressed by Bigdash’s performance. With that in mind, the double-champ expects his upcoming World Title defense to finish quickly.
The Dutchman said:
“He’s going to be tired by the end of the first. And he is going to be done by the end of the second.”
Reinier De Ridder Wants To Compete On Amazon Prime Video, Dreams Of Triple-Belt Glory
ONE Championship recently signed a massive five-year partnership with Amazon Prime Video Sports to air at least 12 of its live events during North American prime time annually.
And for his part, two-division king Reinier de Ridder is one of the many athletes who would love to showcase their skills on one of those cards later this year.
“The Dutch Knight” even has a potential opponent in mind for the occasion – reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.
The two superstars have traded barbs in the past, and the undefeated Dutchman reiterated that he hopes to move up in weight and claim a third World Title belt.
De Ridder added:
“I’ve been saying this for too long now. But come on, give me a shot at heavyweight.
“I hope [to get] Bhullar. Bhullar is an interesting matchup. I can’t say too much about my prediction right now, but I’m very confident in what I do, of course.”