ONE Championship 159 results: Reinier de Ridder lives up to promise, chokes out Vitaly Bigdash in first

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Reinier de Ridder did exactly what he said he was going to do, and cemented himself as arguably one of the best fighters in the world in the process.

De Ridder (16-0) stayed unbeaten when he put Vitaly Bigdash (12-3) to sleep with an inverted triangle choke in the first round to defend his light heavyweight title at ONE Championship 159. The finish came at the 3:29 mark of the opening round at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

De Ridder, who also is the promotion’s middleweight champ, denied former light heavyweight titleholder Bigdash in his quest to capture a ONE title more than five years after he lost the belt.

After the win, De Ridder said he now wants to set his sights on a third concurrent ONE title with a move up to heavyweight. And instead of a desire to fight the eventual winner between champ Arjan Bhullar and interim champ Anatoly Malykhin, De Ridder said he would fight them both in one night.

“Anybody in the world – anybody in the world, I’ll finish,” De Ridder said in his post-fight interview. “I’ll strangle anybody on the planet. I got him a little earlier than I thought. I had to wear him out a little bit. I was thinking it would be in the second round, but I got him. … That’s what I do: I choke people out. That’s what I do.”

De Ridder came forward quickly in the fight and pushed Bigdash to the fence. He had to eat a defensive punch while Bigdash moved out of the way. Seconds later, De Ridder went for a takedown, and when it wasn’t there Bigdash latched on to a guillotine choke. Bigdash took the choke to the canvas, and it appeared to be tight, but after nearly a minute, the champion broke out of it.

De Ridder went to work on top trying to land punches, then postured up for more. Midway through, De Ridder settled into half-guard and tried to pass while putting on pressure with elbows.

When De Ridder went for an armbar, he wound up on his back. But that was nothing for him. When Bigdash tried to do work out of the armbar, De Ridder quickly threw up an inverted triangle choke and put Bigdash in trouble. From there, it wasn’t long before Bigdash was out cold.

Of the Dutchman’s 16 pro wins, 14 have been by stoppage, including 12 by submission. Three of his past four wins have come by three different chokes.