• Reinier de Ridder has a concrete claim towards being ONE Championship's top pound-for-pound fighter
  • He defended the middleweight title in spectacular fashion against Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 159
  • De Ridder is gunning for the ONE heavyweight title next

Reinier de Ridder’s dominant run in ONE Championship has taken fans of the promotion by storm, and it seems like he has nothing left to prove to anyone at this point in his young mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

The two-division kingpin recently put his middleweight title on the line against Vitaly Bigdash in the main event of ONE 159 last Friday, July 22.

Bigdash seemingly had de Ridder in trouble for the first time in his career after pulling guard and attempting a guillotine choke thirty seconds into the first round.

However, “The Dutch Knight” showcased his resiliency to everyone watching as he was able to escape Bigdash’s clutches and eventually took home the victory a few minutes later with a masterfully-executed inverted triangle choke.

Bigdash went limp and referee Mohamad Sulaiman was forced to call it a night for him, with de Ridder improving his overall record to a squeaky clean 16-0.

Since joining the Singapore-based combat sports organization in 2019, de Ridder has proven to be a puzzle that no one can solve seven fights into his stint.

De Ridder took the middleweight and light heavyweight titles off Aung La N Sang in two separate fights and has never looked back since then.

Prior to the Bigdash fight, de Ridder forced Kiamrian Abbasov to tap out thanks to an arm-triangle choke and as it stands, it does not seem like anyone can challenge him just yet.

With how dominant his run has been thus far, de Ridder’s claim to becoming ONE Championship’s top pound-for-pound fighter makes a ton of sense.

After cleaning out both divisions, de Ridder now has his sights set on becoming the promotion’s first-ever three-division champion.

“They’re talking about doing [Anatoly] Malykhin and [Arjan] Bhullar first, but let me have my shot first. Both of them on the same night. I don’t care. [ONE] do mixed-rule stuff and whatever, so why not two opponents? Let’s do it,” de Ridder said in an interview.

Interim champion Anatoly Malykhin and reigning heavyweight titleholder Arjan Bhullar do need to settle who gets to earn the distinction of being undisputed champion first before de Ridder hopes of challenging for a belt in a different weight class.

ONE Championship is yet to announce when Bhullar and Malykhin will fight for the undisputed crown, so de Ridder will first have to sit on his throne on the sidelines in the meantime.

“The goal is to do something nobody else can. I did that by becoming a champ. I did that by becoming a double-champ. And now I want to keep going, beating everybody in the world. Because that’s special,” he ended.