Anatoly Malykhin and Reinier de Ridder will run it back at ONE 166: Qatar on Friday, Mar. 1. ONE Championship announced the main event world title tilt on Thursday, putting Malykhin in the direct path of history.
The ONE 166 headliner will give the Russian a chance to become a three-division titleholder as de Ridder will put his ONE middleweight MMA championship on the line in the rematch between the two outstanding athletes.
The pair first met at ONE Fight Night 5, where they contested de Ridder’s ONE light heavyweight MMA title. In the one-sided affair, Malykhin grabbed the gold, and he then went on to unify the heavyweight MMA crown against Arjan Bhullar. His bid for history will test him physically and mentally, as he’ll be meeting De Ridder in his natural weight class.
The Dutchman hasn’t competed in MMA since his defeat to “Sladkiy.” But that doesn’t mean he’s been idle.
De Ridder has been traveling and improving his skill set by training with the elite. In May, he stepped into the ONE Championship Circle in a submission grappling match against Tye Ruotolo and went the distance with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom, proving his ground game is world class.
ONE 166 will give “The Dutch Knight” the chance to prove the result of the first match was an aberration against one of the most feared men in the sport. And Malykhin will get his chance to become the first three-division world champion in MMA history.
ONE 166 airs live from Qatar on Friday, Mar. 1.
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