Image Credits: ONE Championship
Reinier de Ridder isn’t “just” the current ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion, but he’s also an extremely highly skilled BJJ black belt… Who often uses his ground game skills to end the match.
De Ridder was not impressed by the latest UFC middleweight championship fight. In an interview with Morning Kombat’s Brian Campbell, De Ridder said he would easily submit both Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira in the same night…
“Look, those guys, you saw the fight, man. It’s like two blue belts grappling when they grapple, to be honest. And, um, I think I could beat both those guys in the same night, man. Give me co-main event Adesanya, main event Pereira, and I’d finish them both,”
His upcoming bout will be a title defense one, for the light heavyweight gold against Anatoly Malykhin.
And, well, de Ridder believes that Malykhin hasn’t improved his BJJ one bit:
His grappling is not really there. His Jiu-Jitsu game has not evolved, at all, as far as I’ve seen his fights.
I’m not sure if, training-wise, if he spends a lot of time on the floor. He doesn’t pass guard.
He only gets takedowns and he stays at full guard and tries to pound the guy out – which he’s pretty successful at, though. I’m not being too critical there.
On the flip side, however, Malykhin is equally convinced that de Ridder won’t be able to take him down:
There has never been any disrespect from me when it comes to de Ridder, but he doesn’t surprise me with anything.
I know his strengths – endurance and a strong ground game, but he just doesn’t understand my level of fighting, and that’s his weak point.
He thinks he can take me down, but he won’t succeed.
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