ONE Championship promised a massive return to the Philippines, and the organization has kept its promise.
ONE Fight Night 5 just got a whole lot more exciting after the announcement that two-division king Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder will defend his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines on 3 December.
De Ridder, 16-0, has been one of the most active World Champions in ONE today. In fact, this will be the fourth time he’ll compete this year and, to no surprise, it will be against another champion.
This past February, De Ridder submitted ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov before jumping into a submission grappling bout where he faced multi-time BJJ World Champion Andre Galvao in a match that ended in a draw.
“The Dutch Knight” then returned to MMA where he finished former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash in the first round via an inverted-triangle choke to keep a stronghold on that weight class.
Facing another World Champion in Malykhin, De Ridder promises yet another banger.
“I run through champions. Watch me close out the year big,” De Ridder said in a social media post.
He won’t have it any easier against Maykhin, 11-0, who stormed through The Home of Martial Arts with much gusto over the past year.
After winning his first two fights via knockout, the Russian faced Kirill Grishenko in February to become the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion, and he’s been chasing a fight with current ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar ever since.
While that fight hasn’t materialized yet, Malykhin’s position isn’t that bad now, as he is setting his sights on becoming a two-division World Champion and giving De Ridder his first loss.
De Ridder and Malykhin join an already stacked card that will see the unification of the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in a bout between reigning champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues and interim champ Janet Todd.
Also on the card is the long-awaited ONE debut of prized signee Roberto Soldic, as the Croatian battles undefeated Murad Ramazanov in a welterweight bout.
Tickets for ONE Fight Night 5 and ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks at the Mall of Asia Arena on 3 December are available at https://smtickets.com/events/
Also, catch “ONE Warrior Series Philippines” every Sunday night on GTV, the ONE Super App, and watch.onefc.com. Weekly replays air on Tap Go, ONE Championship Philippines Facebook, and ONE Championship’s official YouTube channel.
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