With his middleweight belt on the line, the two-division ONE World Champion dispatched the welterweight king with an arm-triangle submission after three dominant rounds on Friday, 25 February.
De Ridder raced out of the blocks, grabbed hold of the challenger, and tripped him to the canvas within seconds of the first round getting underway. Passing straight to side control, the Dutchman dictated the action with heavy top control and a steady stream of punches, elbows, and knees.
Some of “The Dutch Knight’s” strikes got through as Abbasov’s face showed damage, but the Kyrgyz competitor managed to scramble up late in the round.
However, there wasn’t much respite, as De Ridder clamped onto a head-and-arm grip and drilled his opponent with heavy knees to the head.
The Dutchman began the second frame with just as much urgency, clinching up with “Brazen” and tripping him down to the mat. This time, he landed in mount and dropped heavy elbows and punches on his prone foe.
Abbasov tried to escape, but he was foiled every time. It looked like an arm-triangle would put the Novorosfight man out of his misery late in the stanza, but he was saved by the bell.
To nobody’s surprise, the Combat Brothers superstar immediately closed the distance again to begin round three. Although “Brazen” managed to stay upright for a short while, De Ridder’s single-leg takedown deposited him on the canvas.
The defending titleholder found himself in the mount once more – only this time, the opportunity to finish came quickly.
De Ridder shrugged Abbasov’s arm from around his neck, buried his head in his armpit, and cinched up a tight arm-triangle submission.
Abbasov waved the white flag at 0:57, pushing De Ridder’s unbeaten slate to 15-0, with six of those coming inside the Circle.
Following his win, “The Dutch Knight” immediately took to the mic and called out three fellow stars.
“In three weeks at ONE X, Andre Galvao, let’s find out who the best grappler is around these parts. Let’s go man, I’ll choke you out!” De Ridder said in his post-fight interview.
“I beat the welterweight champ, I beat the middleweight champ, I beat the light heavyweight champ – what’s next? Heavyweight guys, come on!