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Mixed Martial Arts

Reinier De Ridder doesn’t expect anything ‘special’ from Anatoly Malykhin

Two-division ONE World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder is oozing confidence ahead of his defense of the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin.

The pair of juggernauts tangle in the main event of ONE Fight Night 5 this Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

While De Ridder acknowledges the danger that Malykhin presents, he noted that the Russian doesn’t bring anything noteworthy to the Circle.

“Well, he’s dangerous, of course. We’ve seen in his previous fights, he knocks people out,” De Ridder said.

“He’s wild. He’s explosive. He’s an interesting opponent, but he doesn’t bring anything really special to the table.

Many people see this fight as a classic striker-versus-grappler affair, where De Ridder will shine in the grappling exchanges and Malykhin will have the striking department to himself. But De Ridder sees it differently.

“As I said, he is dangerous, so I really need to watch everything and be very sharp. But he’s not special. He has a hard right hand, pretty similar to Aung La [N Sang]. He needs a little bit of space to leap in with a large, loopy right hand, which he catches people with pretty often,” he said.

“And then Aung La has better kicks. And he has a better-left hand, better-left hook. So striking-wise, I need to get close in my range, keep him at the end of my punches, be sharp, and make sure I mix it up with my takedowns.”

At the end of the day, De Ridder believes that the first minute of the match will be crucial, so he’s planning to weather an early Malykhin storm by staying aggressive himself before finishing the heavyweight.

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“The first two minutes are very important in this fight because he’s going to come out strong, he’s going to try and press forward. And I’m going to come out strong, I’m going to be in the middle of the Circle. You’ll see me dominant from the first second. So in those first few seconds, those are going to be very explosive and very, very, very important,” he said.

“I think I can hit him with some good stuff because I’m more rangey. I think I can get in his face and hit him with some good jabs and with some good kicks, clinch him, take him down. I see myself controlling him on the floor, hitting him with some elbows, hitting him with some knees. And I see myself choking him out at the end of the first.”

Tickets for ONE Fight Night 5 and ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks at the Mall of Asia Arena on 3 December are available at   

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