Reinier de Ridder has backed Demetrious Johnson to triumph in his upcoming special-rules superfight against Rodtang Jitmuangnon, which will go down as the co-main event of ONE X: Grand Finale on March 26.
The hottest topic of debate in the lead-up to the pair’s four-round hybrid fight is whether or not the 12-time MMA world champion will be able to withstand Rodtang’s elbows, knees and fists in the opening Muay Thai frame.
Reinier de Ridder shot down any claims that Rodtang could end the contest within the opening round. In fact, in an exclusive interview with ONE, the two-division champion outlined that he sees the first three minutes somewhat favoring ‘Mighty Mouse’.
He told ONE:
“I think in the first round, Rodtang will have some difficulties comprehending DJ’s movement. It’s very different from a Muay Thai fight. The movement is very different from a Muay Thai fighter. So, it’s going to be hard for him to track him down. It’s going to be hard for him to find him, I think.”
To put things into perspective, Muay Thai fighters typically stay heavy on their feet. Unlike boxers, they tend to fight in the pocket quite often. Rodtang, too, displays a very Muay Thai-dominant stance, while Johnson is pretty intelligent and quick at dissecting angles.
Despite his words of praise for Johnson, Reiner de Ridder didn’t completely rule out the possibility of Rodtang landing his trademark combinations and fully-loaded shots before the end of the first frame.
“Maybe he’ll get there by the end of the first round. Maybe he’ll start landing by the first round. But it’s definitely going to take a while,” ‘The Dutch Knight’ added.
“It’s very cool that ONE set this up” – Reinier de Ridder praises ONE’s super-fight vision
ONE X, the Asian promotion’s 10-year anniversary showpiece, is guaranteed to produce some magical moments from the promotion’s finest stars.
Reinier de Ridder himself returns to action at the three-part show, coming up against Brazilian jiu-jitsu icon Andre Galvao in a middleweight submission grappling fight.
If the Breda native had to pick a bout that would top the polls, he predicts that nothing will match the excitement of the Demetrious Johnson-Rodtang special-rules contest at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“First of all, it’s very cool that ONE set this up in this way to get a fight, which is just cool for everyone to see,” he told ONE.
Tune in on March 26 to see the action and the drama unfold.