Reigning two-division ONE World Champion, “The Dutch Knight” Reinier de Ridder, first brought his skills to the circle in 2019 and has yet to suffer one defeat in his mixed martial arts career. In an impressive 15-0 pro clip, Reinier de Ridder has had 13 finishes, 10 of which came by submission.
Reinier de Ridder, holder of the promotion’s middleweight and light heavyweight belts, has already made his name in the history books. Despite all of his accomplishments, The Dutch Knight plans to bring the ONE World Heavyweight Championship under his mantle in the near future and become the first mixed martial artist to hold three different world titles simultaneously.
Ahead of his ONE Middleweight World Championship fight with former world champion Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159 on July 22nd, let’s take a look at three reasons Reinier de Ridder is such a dangerous fighter.
#3 – Reinier de Ridder doesn’t know how to lose
While most fans associate Reinier de Ridder with elite-level grappling and mind-blowing submissions, “The Dutch Knight” is an incredibly versatile fighter who can take down fighters on their feet as easily as they can on the mat.
For a time, de Ridder was the promotion’s best kept secret. That changed on October 30, 2020 with ONE: Inside the Matrix. “The Dutch Knight” faced then-two-belt world champion Aung La Nsang for the world middleweight title. de Ridder shocked the MMA world when he defeated “The Burmese Python” by submission in the very first round.
Many fans within the MMA community, particularly Aung La’s, called Reinier de Ridder’s win a stroke of luck. The Dutchman ended that talk when he faced “The Burmese Python” for the world light heavyweight title at ONE on TNT IV in April 2021.
Aung La was originally set to face Vitaly Bigdash but de Ridder stepped in a week in advance when the Russian fighter withdrew due to COVID-19 protocols. Reinier de Ridder scored a unanimous decision victory, putting an exclamation mark on his rivalry with Aung La and earning him his second world title.
#2 – Train with the best
To become one of the best fighters in the world, it helps to train with the best. In addition to Gegard Mousasi as one of his key training partners, “The Dutch Knight” has the opportunity to work with two other high-profile fighters: Aung La Nsang and streaky heavyweight contender Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, which happened during a trip to the United States in April.
Speaking to ONE Championship, de Ridder opened up about his time training with 17-time BJJ World Champion Almeida and his excitement at the opportunity to curl up with someone he looks up to himself.
“[Almeida and I did] many rounds. It was a very good session, a tiring session. And it’s just cool, man. It was cool to train with a guy I’ve looked up to for a while and measure myself against his skills.”
de Ridder also had the opportunity to train with ONE Championship contender Garry Tonon and Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher during his trip to the United States. de Ridder shared a picture of his trip to Austin, TX to train with Danaher and his crew, saying that he flew into “jiu-jitsu heaven.”
“I died and went to jiu-jitsu heaven, or I went to jiu-jitsu heaven and died there. But I definitely feel dead now. Life is good thanks guys.”
#1 – Unmatched Grappling Skills
Much like Asian MMA legend Shinya Aoki, Reinier de Ridder is widely regarded as one of the top MMA grapplers in the world. With 10 submission wins in a total of 15 matches, The Dutch Knight’s unsurpassed grappling skills set him apart from his peers.
ONE Championship featured de Ridder in a submission grappling match, something usually reserved for the best of the best, at the ONE X promotion’s 10th anniversary event in March. There, de Ridder met Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Andre Galvao, who was recently inducted into the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Hall of Fame.
‘The Dutch Knight’ more than held its own against a giant and the fight was declared a draw after 12 minutes.
Since the age of five, Reinier D\de Ridder has studied the world of competitive grappling, starting with Judo and moving on to BJJ before making his transition to mixed martial arts. Along the way, The Dutch Knight has surrounded himself with the best trainers, submission grapplers and mixed martial artists in the world. As a result, De Ridder has become one of the top grapplers in the promotion, whose dominance is both terrifying and awe-inspiring.
At 31, The Dutch Knight still has many years of competition ahead of it. After achieving so much, de Ridder still strives for greatness and plans to make his mark on the world of MMA before all is said and done.
Fans will have a chance to catch Reinier de Ridder in action at ONE 159 when he meets middleweight rival Vitaly Bigdash in a Main Event bout on July 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.