Village Voice News

Eager to get revenge for his earlier defeat by Anatoly Malykhin at ONE 166: Qatar, Reinier De Ridder

<p>Reinier de Ridder, the ONE Middleweight MMA World Champion, was soaring high in his role as a two-weight champion. However, everything changed when he faced Anatoly Malykhin, who defeated “The Dutch Knight” and took away his light heavyweight title to win the ONE World Championship in two divisions. De Ridder is prepared for retaliation this Friday, March 1.</p>
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<p>In the highly anticipated rematch between De Ridder and Malykhin, “Sladkiy” will be vying for the Dutchman’s middleweight title at ONE 166: Qatar. De Ridder had achieved relentless success across 16 performances and 11 submissions prior to meeting Malykhin.</p>
<p>Everything changed in December 2022 at ONE on Prime Video 5, when the Russian defeated him in only one round. In retrospect, De Ridder acknowledges that his arrogance overcame him. However, he has already corrected his mistakes and thinks that he won’t be caught off guard again.</p>
<p>“If you win sixteen straight times, it must have gone quite easy in the battle, right? I don’t want to sound conceited but to be honest, it always went that way. I was never genuinely impacted. I was never seriously injured. I never actually experienced any hardship. That’s how things have always been. I would approach the man in front of me, knock him down, and essentially strangle him out “explained De Ridder.</p>
<p>“It sort of stayed in my brain that this is how battles work and that I can do this to anybody in the world. I could till I couldn’t, and when I was violently knocked out, it was evident, and ever since then, I’ve been regaining my strength.”</p>
<p>De Ridder has put a lot of effort into developing his all-around skills, but he has mostly concentrated on one area of his game: his mental health. Malykhin approached De Ridder at ONE on Prime Video 5 with the intensity of a bull in a china shop, making the 33-year-old hesitant to approach.</p>
<p>Malykhin has used this philosophy to great effect throughout his career; he has won 12 of his bouts to far. De Ridder, however, will be prepared for the strain the next time.</p>
<p>“As you said, that’s not who I am ordinarily, and it’s not who I want to be, so it showed in the fight, too. I wasn’t moving naturally. My usual level of sharpness was lacking. Upon reflection, those takedowns were s***. “I feel like I’m staring at a skeleton of myself when I look back at my striking and movement,” De Ridder said.</p>
<p>“My mental game is something else that’s very essential to me. So I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting inside. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last year to alter both how I approach the fight and how I see myself as a fighter. Well, let’s hope everything manifests itself in a few weeks.</p>
<p>“Obviously, the most crucial aspect is to avoid being struck, which is why playing defense is so vital. Also, he has to be able to maintain composure under duress, particularly from the hard shots he will be throwing. The most crucial thing I’ve been working on is that.”</p>