‘Redemption On My Mind’ – Reinier De Ridder Has A New Fire Following First Career Defeat
Suffering your first career loss in a high-profile World Title match isn’t easy to stomach, but Reinier de Ridder is determined to come back stronger.
“The Dutch Knight” was knocked out by Anatoly Malykhin in a ONE Light Heavyweight World Title defense last December, and he’s eager to right the ship at ONE’s historic first United States show on May 5.
Still the reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion with a 16-1 record in MMA, De Ridder knows there are sometimes blips on the road to greatness.
And while the defeat to Malykhin gave him a bitter feeling, he understands those setbacks eventually come with the territory.
The 32-year-old said:
“S*** happens, man. I’ve never lost a fight before. I’ve never really been hurt in training. It was tough, but I was always prepared for this. I know that if you stick around long enough, if you look for the largest challenges – which I do – s*** happens.”
Although De Ridder has taken a Forrest Gump-esque view on defeat, that doesn’t mean it’s something he wants to get used to.
He’s now completely focused on getting back in the win column while kick-starting a dominant 2023 in multiple disciplines.
“The Dutch Knight” said:
“[Getting back to winning ways] is the most important thing. I got redemption on my mind. I’m fully focused on setting things straight.
“This is my year, man. I’m setting everything straight. I’m starting with a grappling match and some MMA fights to cap it off.”
De Ridder Promises ‘Very Explosive’ Showdown With Tye Ruotolo
Before he returns to the all-encompassing sport of MMA, ONE Middleweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder will face Tye Ruotolo in the American’s wheelhouse of submission grappling.
De Ridder – a BJJ and judo black belt himself – has already taken Ruotolo’s coach, Andre Galvao, to a draw under that format, so he wasn’t surprised when the callout came from the young prodigy.
Moreover, he was happy to accept the intriguing matchup:
“I expected something like that. It’s very cool that I got a shot at this. I got to grapple Andre Galvao, and I get to grapple Tye Ruotolo, who’s one of the hottest prospects right now in grappling.
“I’m not even a grappler. I’m an MMA fighter, so it’s very cool that I get this opportunity.”
“The Dutch Knight’s” elite grappling skills have seen him submit 11 opponents in MMA, and he expects to showcase those talents on May 5.
Despite Rutolo’s pedigree atop the submission grappling world, De Ridder believes he owns the attributes to make life difficult for his opponent.
“It’s going to be a very dynamic and a very explosive match. Ten minutes seems like it’s a long time, but for a grappling match, it’s kind of short. The plan is to submit him. So I’m going to be chasing him from the get-go.
“I have the physical advantage. I am heavier and longer. He might have a bit of technical advantage because he’s a pure grappler. I think it’s going to be a very exciting match.”