Reinier de Ridder is riding high after extending his remarkable unblemished record to 16-0 with a submission victory against Vitaly Bigdash at ONE 160 last night.
‘The Dutch Knight’ needed less than a round to finish the former champion via inverted triangle choke. But in the immediate wake of the fight being stopped, the Russian’s cornerman seemed to take offence to the double champion and threw some angry words his way.
The victor was in a celebratory mood during the post-fight digital media interview but dismissed the attitude of his opponent’s teammate,
“The coach was a little bitch. I don’t know. He was saying ‘you weren’t respectful before the fight’. Just roid rage I guess.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) July 23, 2022
The Dutchman may not be a fan of the cornerman, but the respect is clearly there for Bigdash.
“I respect the guy a lot,” said de Ridder.
“He’s done a lot. he’s finished the same guys I did. He’s a great fighter. He works just as hard as me. He’s the same guy I am, man. He puts in the work, he has a family – of course I respect him. But…c’mon. Before the fight I’m going to be brass, I’m going to say ‘I’m going to choke you out,’ and then in the fight that’s what I’m going to do,” added the 31 year old.
At the start of the year de Ridder talked about approaching the year like a sporting ‘season’ and suggested fighting once a quarter. He began by submitting Kiamrian Abbasov to defend his middleweight belt in February.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) July 22, 2022
Next, he battled Andre Galvao to a draw in their submission grappling bout in March. After putting away Bigdash, the Breda-born star has made it absolutely clear that he wants to round out the year with the heavyweight belt – and he’s willing to do something unprecedented to get it.
“They are talking about doing (Anatoly) Malykhin vs (Arjan) Bhullar first. But f**k that s**t man. Let me have my shot first! F**k them …Both of them in the same night, I don’t care …you guys do mixed rules stuff and whatever, so why not two opponents? Let’s do it!”
The likelihood is that de Ridder will have to wait and see what the outcome is between Malykhin and Bhullar before getting his shot at the heavyweight title. But given his latest run of performances, the 6’4” star will present a significant threat to either fighter – or indeed anyone that stands across from him.