‘I Have An Opportunity To Choke Him Out’ – Reinier De Ridder Excited To Test Grappling Against Andre Galvao

Mar 22, 2022
Dutch fighter Reinier De Ridder makes his way to the Circle at ONE: FULL CIRCLE

Reinier de Ridder espouses the “anyone, anytime, anywhere” mantra, but he’s also tagged on an “any rules” clause.

To prove it, the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion is leaving his comfort zone of MMA to face BJJ icon Andre Galvao in a submission grappling match at ONE X: Part I this Saturday, 26 March.

It’s a bold move for the undefeated mixed martial artist, but it’s clear he’s embracing the challenge.

“The Dutch Knight” actually called out Galvao after his last World Title defense, and he’s unfazed by the prospect of facing the Brazilian legend in his own domain at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

De Ridder said:

“I’m excited to be able to have an opportunity like this to face a grappling legend. It’s very big for me. I got into the sport from grappling. It was the first part of MMA I started with. Andre was at the top at that time, and he kind of still is, so it’s a very cool opportunity to fight him. And it’s even cooler that I think I have an opportunity to choke him out. I think I can beat this guy.

“There are a lot of other great names around like “Buchecha” and Gordon Ryan. But this is the first guy I get a crack at, and it’d be a major achievement for me personally to finish him off.”

While the surging Dutchman does not plan on committing too much of his time to submission grappling, he has no problem testing his ground skills against the world’s best.

As a judo and BJJ black belt, De Ridder has earned 10 submission victories in his 15 MMA wins, and he thinks he can outhustle the Brazilian superstar at this historic 10-year anniversary show.

The 31-year-old said:

“What you should expect [at ONE X] is a high-paced grappling match, top grappling skills showcased, and a very exciting match because I want to push the tempo. The higher the pace, the better it is for me. There’ll be some wrestling, some domination on the floor. And hopefully, I’ll end up with my hand in the air. 

“I’m focused on MMA, but if these little one-offs get presented to me, I won’t say no. Gordon [Ryan] is just great everywhere. His technique is very crisp. He’s a great fighter, very strong. He does very well in grappling, but why not [face him] in the future? For these one-offs, I’ll make some time and I’ll take a little step sideways to grappling.” 

Reinier De Ridder Still Focused On Bolstering His MMA Legacy

Reinier de Ridder sees his submission grappling showcase against Andre Galvao as an intriguing side project to the main goal of building his legacy in mixed martial arts.

He’s already joined an elite group of two-division ONE World Champions, though he doesn’t plan on stopping there.

After finishing ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov in their light heavyweight bout last month, “The Dutch Knight” is even more determined to move up in weight and vie to become a triple-champ.

De Ridder said:

“It was a nice extra one [to beat Abbasov], right? So I have beat the welterweight champ, beat the middleweight champ, and beat the light heavyweight champ. As I said, what’s next? Maybe heavyweight?

“It’d be pretty cool [to be the first three-division ONE World Champion], right? So that’s the goal. I’ve been talking about it for a while now. And I think I have a good shot at [reigning king Arjan] Bhullar and [interim titleholder Anatoly] Malykhin. And they should make that fight. It’s time.”

However, the Dutchman’s next assignment in MMA might have been decided when former middleweight king Vitaly Bigdash defeated old foe Aung La N Sang in their long-awaited trilogy bout

De Ridder is happy to face the Russian star, but most importantly, he wants to stay busy and capitalize on the momentum he’s built. 

He added:

“First of all, Vitaly, you’re welcome. I showed you the blueprint [to beat Aung La], and you ran with it. So, well done. Second, I think he should be next in line. I see myself dominating him from start to finish. I’ll pick him apart from the outside. He doesn’t have a chance of striking with me. He’s too short. I push him against the fence, dominating in the grappling, and then I’ll find his neck anytime.

“I want to be active this year. I want to put in a great 2022, making up for the lost time in the last couple of years. I’m in a good position, and I want to take full advantage of it.”

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