Reinier de Ridder is coming for all of the titles in ONE Championship.
After accepting a rematch against Aung La N Sang on just five days’ notice, de Ridder put on a suffocating grappling display over five rounds to win a lopsided unanimous decision in the ONE on TNT 4 main event. It was the second straight time that de Ridder had faced the superstar from Myanmar after he took the middleweight title away from him this past October.
Now de Ridder has snatched both of his belts as he becomes the ONE light heavyweight and middleweight champion.
Following his latest win, de Ridder then turned his attention towards a third world title as he called out ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera for a fight this summer.
Before a single punch was thrown to start the fight, de Ridder dove on Aung La N Sang’s legs and dragged him to the mat where he began to employ his grappling game. Constantly attacking, de Ridder was advancing his position and setting up his submission game while moving fluidly from the mount and then taking the back.
Locking on the body triangle, de Ridder was punishing the Myanmar native while trying to find an opening for a choke but he just couldn’t get the finish. While it took some time, Aung La N Sang eventually slipped free after getting out of an arm triangle choke attempt as he got back to his feet.
Aung La sneaks out of a DEEP arm-triangle choke! @AungLANsang @tntdrama @BleacherReport @BR_MMA @brlive #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT4 pic.twitter.com/73HbedyA0z— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 29, 2021
Despite the slight success to end the first round, “The Burmese Python” just could not keep de Ridder away from his body and legs as he was continuously stuck on his back trying to survive grappling exchanges. While de Ridder wasn’t able to get the finish, even after another near submission, he was dominating the fight with the former two-division champion just trying to find room to breathe.
As the fight continued, de Ridder was relentless with his takedowns and grappling attacks as he just moved forward, went for the legs and put Aung La N Sang on his back. It was a methodical yet very effective game plan with de Ridder just maintaining his control, looking for openings to advance his position and then looking for submissions.
With time running out in the final round, Aung La N Sang did manage to explode off his back to reverse positions but he just couldn’t do enough damage to finish the fight in order to mount the comeback against de Ridder.
While this wasn’t the matchup originally booked to headline ONE on TNT 4, de Ridder was able to make history by becoming a two-division champion after winning back-to-back fights against Aung La N Sang while taking his light heavyweight and middleweight titles.
ONE has never shied away from giving fighters opportunities at winning multiple titles across multiple divisions so it seems entirely possible the promotion might allow de Ridder to look for a third championship against Vera later this year.