ONE Championship’s middleweight and light heavyweight kingpin Reinier de Ridder believes his UFC middleweight counterpart, Israel Adesanya, would be one of the easiest fights for him.
De Ridder is undefeated in his professional MMA career, and is coming off back-to-back wins against Aung La Nsang in their middleweight and light heavyweight title fights. Adesanya most recently defended his title against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263, and will put his title on the line against Robert Whittaker next month at UFC 271.
ONE’s spearhead Chatri Sityodtong has on a number of occasions said that he would be open to a proverbial UFC vs ONE mega-event, and de Ridder also likes the idea of a co-promoted fight against Adesanya.
Reinier De Ridder On Israel Adesanya
In an interview with ONE Championship (as transcribed by Sportskeeda), de Ridder said that he’s a bad matchup for Adesanya.
“I think he’s a good guy, does well,” de Ridder said. “He’s long and rangy like myself. Yeah, he’s doing work. [But] I think that’s one of the easiest middleweight fights for me. Because in the open space, he just gets taken down very easily. Those two takedowns Jan [Blachowicz] made were alright, but they weren’t the most technical I’ve ever seen in my life. He defends very well against the cage.
“He’s got a lot of good tools with his whizzers, with his under hooks, he pushes the head nicely and he does well against the cage. A big base. But in the open space, he almost has no takedown defense at all. And in the stand up, he is my size, so he has almost identically my range. I think he’s a bit shorter than I am, so I wouldn’t fear him in the stand-up either.”
Reinier de Ridder will defend his middleweight title against welterweight champion Kiamran Abbasov at ONE: Full Circle on February 25th.
Do you agree with Reinier de Ridder that he’s a terrible matchup for Israel Adesanya?