The main event of ONE 159 features a banger of a middleweight fight between two weight champion Reinier de Ridder and Vitaly Bigdash. For De Ridder, it will be a defense of his middleweight belt. The event takes place on July 22nd and will feature another title fight between Janet Todd and Lara Fernandez for the women’s Strawweight Kickboxing Championship. But today, we take a preview look at the big boys on the top of the card.
Reinier De Ridder: ONE’s Best Kept Secret
There are several middleweights in the world who are not in the UFC that I believe are top five in the world, and perhaps top three. Roberto Soldic and Gegard Mousasi are two of them. Reinier De Ridder is another of those. Three months ago, I called De Ridder the best middleweight not in the UFC, and after holding his own against Andre Galvo in a grappling match, that secret is still in tact.
His last title defense was against Kiamrian Abbasov and it was a bat out of hell type performance of ground and pound, transitions, and submission attempts. If you’ve not seen De Ridder fight before ONE 159, it’s like a Justin Gaethje if Gaethje was a grappler. High performance, high pace, and very hectic. Reinier De Ridder actually trains with the two middleweights mentioned above, as he told us in an interview previously.
Vitaly Bigdash is a tall, strong Russian who has great wrestling. De Ridder and Bigdash are sure to put on a grappling performance that will be non stop action. Bigdash is suffocating. His last win over Aung La N Sang saw Bigdash run through his opponent and suffocate him with pressure from the top, the back and everywhere in between.
The real question going into ONE 159 is will Bigdash be able to stave off the relentless assault on the ground from Reinier De Ridder. Bigdash comes with your traditional wrestling background. He hits singles, uses the body lock, and chain wrestles against the fence to drown his opponents. Don’t miss this. It’s going to slap.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.