Exclusive | ONE Championship: Reinier de Ridder to fight Anatoly Malykhin in Manila main event
- Undefeated Dutchman will collide with Russian at ONE’s first event in the Philippines for nearly three years on December 3
- De Ridder making first defence of light heavyweight belt against interim heavyweight champion
Reinier de Ridder will defend his light heavyweight title against Anatoly Malykhin in the main event of ONE Championship’s first card in Manila for nearly three years, a source has told the Post.
Interim heavyweight king Malykhin will drop down to challenge two-division champ De Ridder, who also holds the Singapore-based martial arts promotion’s middleweight MMA belt, at ONE on Prime Video 5 in the Philippines.
The undefeated “Dutch Knight” has yet to defend the light heavyweight crown, which he took from Aung La N Sang via unanimous decision in April 2021.
Both De Ridder and Malykhin saw fights fall through in the last two months, which led to them calling out each other.
Malykhin has long been set for a title unification bout against Arjan Bhullar, but the heavyweight champion has not fought in 18 months after lengthy contract renewal negotiations, and an injury which required surgery in August.
De Ridder was lined up to defend his middleweight belt in Kuala Lumpur in October against newcomer Shamil Abdulaev, but the Russian newcomer was not medically cleared to compete.
The Mall of Asia Arena will host two cards on December 3, with strawweight MMA champion Joshua Pacio headlining the evening’s ONE 164 event against Jarred Brooks.
ONE on Prime Video 5 will be held on the Saturday morning, local time, and broadcast in US prime time on Friday evening.
No other fights have been announced for the Prime Video card, but ONE 164 will feature several of Pacio’s Team Lakay stablemates.
Danny King will battle Gurdarshan Mangat at flyweight, while the division’s former champ Geje Eustaquio tackles Hu Yong.
At bantamweight, Jeremy Pacatiw takes on Myanmar’s Tial Thang, and Jenelyn Olsim faces China’s Meng Bo at women’s strawweight.