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Reinier De Ridder Prepped For Vitaly Bigdash Fight With Aung La N Sang

Jul 4, 2022
Pictures from the fight between Aung La N Sang and Reinier De Ridder at "ONE on TNT IV"

Reinier de Ridder got some help from a pair of familiar faces ahead of his next ONE Middleweight World Title defense.

“The Dutch Knight” – who will battle Vitaly Bigdash in the main event of ONE 159 on July 22 – trained with his old foe Aung La N Sang when he traveled to the USA back in April.

De Ridder and “The Burmese Python” have fought each other twice, while Aung La N Sang has also faced Bigdash three times, so there was a lot of knowledge to share.

Plus, the session was facilitated by the middleweight king’s countryman and Sanford MMA coach Henri Hooft.

Explaining how the trip came about, De Ridder said:

“I talked to Henri a couple of times when I was there in Singapore. He’s Dutch as I am, so it was easy talking to him. We had some meals together up there and he told me, ‘Why don’t you come over?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I might,’ and I brought my family and made it a trip.

“They were very warm, very friendly, and very welcoming. So it was a true pleasure. Very nice people. Aung met my wife, met my kids. It was very nice.”

The former rivals turned training partners also spoke about De Ridder’s upcoming opponent. 

Aung La N Sang previously split a pair of 25-minute World Title fights with Bigdash and was fresh off his trilogy bout defeat to the Russian, so he had some insights to share.

And while there weren’t any major secrets to give away, “The Dutch Knight” says the Myanmar icon was very confident in his chances to emerge victorious on July 22.

De Ridder said:

“Yeah, we talked about it a little bit. [Aung La N Sang] told me that [Bigdash] was pretty massive and that he missed weight twice. But hey, there’s not a lot there that I didn’t see already in the videos before. And he told me what I already know – that I’m going to dominate this guy.

“What else did Aung tell me about him? Well, that he’s strong, muscular, but we can all see that stuff. And that he got pretty tired in the end [of their fight], and that was pretty visual as well.”

Reinier De Ridder Has Great Memories Of His USA Training Trip

Sanford MMA wasn’t the only place that Reiner de Ridder visited when he was in the United States earlier this year.

The two-division ONE World Champion also trained with BJJ legend Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida at American Top Team in Florida and then moved on to Texas.

In the “Lone Star State,” the Dutchman got to learn under the tutelage of renowned coach John Danaher – which “The Dutch Knight” described as “BJJ heaven” – and he was thrilled to share the mats with some grappling greats.

De Ridder added:

“I went to Florida first and stayed there for a little bit. Then I traveled to Texas to train with Gordon Ryan and John Danaher, and Nicholas Meregali, and [BJJ heaven] was definitely the right choice of words.

I got some rounds in with “Buchecha” as well in Florida, but in Texas, man, I’ve trained under John before, and it’s just a great pleasure, a great honor. The only thing I dislike is they start very late, but everything else is perfect.”

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