Dutch fighter Reinier de Ridder saw a marked improvement in the striking of Anatoly Malykhin in their last fight, which he said made all the difference.
The two top fighters met back in December at ONE on Prime Video 5 in Manila, where ‘The Dutch Knight’ lost the ONE light heavyweight world title after bowing to the Russian powerhouse by knockout in the opening round.
In hindsight, Reinier de Ridder said that Malykhin threw precise strikes in their fight that he did not notice in the previous fights of ‘Sladkiy,’ particularly that against Belarusian Kirill Grishenko.
The reigning ONE middleweight world champion shared to SCMP MMA in an interview:
“Between his last fight before, the Belarusian guy I think, he was just wild punches, wild right hooks, wild left hooks, wild overhands. He was not that technical at all. In our fight he did amazing, to be honest. His footwork was very well and his in-and-out work was very good. He threw very strong straights. [They] were strong, sharp, and fast punches. He really developed a lot between his last two fights.”
Watch the interview below:
In his last fight, Reinier de Ridder simply could not get his game going in the contest. It all came to a halt when the referee stepped in at the 4:35 mark of the first round, and the Dutchman crumpled on the mat.
He will make his return to action on May 5 at ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video in Colorado, U.S.A., in a submission grappling showdown with American sensation Tye Ruotolo. The event will air live and for free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America.
Reinier de Ridder says taking on Anatoly Malykhin on short notice was a mistake in hindsight
Given an opportunity to redo his last fight, Reinier de Ridder said he would reconsider taking it on short notice.
‘The Dutch Knight’ battled Russian juggernaut Anatoly ‘Sladkiy’ Malykhin last December, where he lost the ONE light heavyweight world title by way of a devastating first-round knockout.
In an interview with SCMP MMA, Reinier de Ridder shared that he did not have the preparation he needed before entering the contest, and it showed in his performance. The reigning ONE middleweight world champion said:
“So I take this fight a weight class up on five weeks’ notice. I didn’t really have time to prepare. I didn’t really have time to gain weight. The guy had 10 kilos on me in the fight. I just bit off a bit more than I could chew.”
Reinier de Ridder saw himself dominated by Malykhin practically from the get-go with a slew of uppercuts, body shots, and hooks. The Dutchman tried to go for his vaunted takedowns, but the Russian did not give in. The contest ended at the 4:35 mark of the opening frame with ‘Sladkiy’ throwing hammer fists on ‘The Dutch Knight.’ The loss was the first for De Ridder in eight fights to date in ONE Championship.