Reinier De Ridder stepped in at short notice to challenge Aung La Nsang for the light heavyweight champion and it was a night to remember for the 30-year-old at ONE on TNT Part IV.

In his last outing De Ridder choked out La Nsang in the first round at ONE: ‘Inside the Matrix’. That win earned him the middleweight title but it was the Burmese fighter’s light heavyweight strap which was on the line here.

De Ridder took La Nsang’s back in the first round in what looked like a repeat of their first meeting, but the Burmese Python was able to survive. The Dutchman then tried to lock in a triangle but again the champion’s resilience was stout.

La Nsang landed a pair of solid uppercuts in the second round but the Dutchman’s jiu-jitsu was looking razor sharp. De Ridder found full mount and dropped elbows. He went on to take La Nsang’s back again, ending the round in side control in what was a grueling opening two rounds for the champion.

Relentless pressure

There would be no let up. De Ridder scored a takedown at the start of the third and dished out a bunch of left hands as La Nsang continued to struggle. The challenger was able to then control the champion up against the fence and landed some heavy knees.

De Ridder secured another takedown at the start of the fourth and found mount before transitioning to the back. La Nsang was breathing heavily and worn down by the relentless pressure from ‘the Dutch Knight’ who ended the round having returned to full mount and in complete control.

It appeared to be a similar story in the fifth. De Ridder soon had La Nsang on his back and found full mount but the Burmese star showed his physical and mental strength to reverse the position.

Third title

La Nsang did land some shots but struggled to find the openings in De Ridder’s closed guard. Ultimately it was a clinic from the Dutchman who now holds the middleweight and light heavyweight straps.

His record rises to 14-0 while La Nsang drops to 26-11-0-1. After the fight de Ridder declared his intentions to secure another belt by calling out the heavyweight champion,

“I’ve got a spot for one more around my waist. Brandon Vera what you want to do in a few months man, what you up to this summer? Let’s go!”

Biggest win

Ok Rae Yoon pulled off the biggest win of his career after scoring the unanimous decision against former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.

The American landed an early outside leg kick and secured an ankle pick takedown only for the Korean to scramble out of it straight away. Alvarez landed a knee in the clinch and went for another takedown with Yoon once more springing back up quickly.

Alvarez appeared intent on taking the taller fighter down and it would remain the strategy throughout the fight for the American veteran.

Stinging counter

When the pair exchanged punches in the center of the circle, Ok’s right hand proved a great divider. He delivered a stinging counter that dropped Alvarez to the canvas and followed up with a savage barrage of hammer fists.

The referee thought about stopping the fight but Alvarez insisted that he was able to continue and managed to find his feet. He landed a solid right hand of his own towards the end of the round, but he’d absorbed plenty of damage from the ground and pound.

In the second round Ok continued to find joy with the right hand. Alvarez landed another takedown but Ok again found his way back up quickly.

Alvarez spent much of the round looking to pressure Ok against the fence but without inflicting much damage. The Korean used his longer range well on the break and landed a looping left hook.

Best combination

Alvarez dispatched an overhand right in the third round but soon walked into a knee as he went for another takedown. The Philadelphia native was wobbled with a counter right hand. He responded with a right-left to the body.

Ok, in turn, replied with a pair of knees in the clinch. Alvarez’s then launched his best combination of the fight as he threw a jab and a head kick followed by a left hand it was a slick salvo but not enough to turn the tide in what was a really impressive showing from Ok.

Alvarez’s ONE Championship career has so far fallen short of expectations with two losses, one win and one no contest. His record falls to 30-8-0-1 while Ok improves to 15-3 and establishes himself as a genuine contender for the title.

Landmark win

Kirill Grishenko secured a landmark win over Senegalese wrestling star, Oumar Kane. Both fighters had matching records having secured a trio of finishes in their first three professional fights but there were numerous signs early on that this would not be another easy ride for ‘Reug Reug’.

Grishenko backed Kane up against the cage and landed a series of solid knees and body shots as the pair locked up in the first round. ‘Reug Reug’ landed a heavy leg kick but the Belarusian cracked one of his own.

He then landed a jab and a head kick before driving Kane against the fence. Kane responded with a big takedown right at the bell for it was the Belarusian’s round.

Controversial finish

Clearly increasing in confidence, Grishenko threw a spinning heel kick in the second and a sharp knee on the inside. Kane landed a burst of punches on the break and a leg kick from the Senegalese star connected before the pair clinched against the cage once more and exchanged body punches.

Then came the finish and it arrived in slightly controversial circumstances. Grishenko dropped Kane with a right hand as the bell sounded.

Kane went down holding his throat and stayed there. After some deliberation, the Belarusian was awarded the TKO win and Grishenko extends his record to 4-0 while Kane’s first pro defeat means he’s now at 3-1.

Vintage display

Shinya Aoki put on a vintage display to submit fellow former lightweight champion, Eduard Folayang. Keen to get the fight to the ground he shot for the takedown after 90 seconds.

The Filipino defended well initially but Aoki got his opponent down eventually. The Japanese star found full mount and dropped a flurry of elbows which left Folayang dripping with blood.

Sensing his opportunity, Aoki methodically began to set up the armbar. The was no way out for Folayang as Aoki scored his fourth consecutive victory as well as the thirtieth submission win of his career.

His record now stands at 47-9-0-1 while the Filipino drops to 22-11.

ONE on TNT Part IV, Singapore, April 29th
Reinier de Ridder def. Aung La Nsang via Decision (Unanimous)
Ok Rae Yoon def. Eddie Alvarez via Decision (Unanimous)
Kirill Grishenko def. Oumar Kane via TKO (Punch) at 5:00 of R2
Shinya Aoki def. Eduard Folayang by submission (armbar) at 4:20 of R1
Muay Thai: Jackie Buntan def. Ekaterina Vandaryeva via Decision (Majority)
Colbey Northcutt def. Courtney Martin via Submission (Armbar) at 2:28 of R1