On Friday, 7 February, following his momentous victory over Leandro “Wolf” Ataides at ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE, Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder issued a statement to reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang.
“Aung La, are you ready? You pick the place, you pick the time, you pick the date – you deserve it – but keep that belt shiny cause I am coming for it,” he said.
These may be bold words, but “The Dutch Knight” is no ordinary challenger. The Breda, Netherlands native clinched his World Title shot after a tremendous performance against Ataides en route to his unanimous decision win.
De Ridder used his length to paw at his opponent from the outside. Whenever “Wolf” approached to counter, “The Dutch Knight” sent sharp jabs his way.
Against the master grappler and five-time BJJ World Champion, De Ridder displayed strength and takedown defense. He resisted Ataides’ attempts to control the contest on the ground, and he used knee strikes to wear down his Brazilian rival in the clinch.
After netting the biggest win of his career, De Ridder is now a perfect 3-0 in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Aung La N Sang congratulated De Ridder on Instagram and expressed enthusiasm about defending his World Title against the Dutchman at some point.
The Myanmar athlete last defended his ONE Middleweight World Title against Ken Hasegawa at ONE: A NEW ERA in Japan last March.
Remarkably, the two-division ONE World Champion stepped up in October and also defended his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Despite a very productive and fruitful year, Aung La N Sang shared plans to be more active in the middleweight division, and he even picked out De Ridder as a potential challenger back in December.
Now that the stage will be set for these two middleweights juggernauts, it will be a tantalizing clash and one of the most exciting bouts of 2020.
Will De Ridder get his chance to craft his own legacy by becoming just the second man to take out “The Burmese Python” since Vitaly Bigdash in 2017?
Or will Aung La N Sang extend his run as the promotion’s only two-division king and etch his name in the record books as the most dominant World Champion in ONE Championship history?
Fans all over the world will find out at some point this year.
In the meantime, two-Sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex defends her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title against Janet “JT” Todd at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
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