Why Netherlands’ Reinier de Ridder refused to fight Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang at ‘ONE: Infinity 1’ in Indonesia

Reinier de Ridder, Olivier Coste (© ONE Championship)

Reinier de Ridder, Olivier Coste (© ONE Championship)

Mixed martial arts fans who want to see Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder, 29, of the Netherlands challenge “Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, 34, of Myanmar will have to wait longer. The undefeated Dutch mixed martial artist will not be the next challenger of the reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion.

On February 7, 2020, de Ridder earned his third ONE Championship win by defeating Leandro “Wolf” Ataides, 33, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the co-main event of “ONE: Warrior’s Code” at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia. It earned the Dutch fighter the opportunity to challenge Aung, who is set to defend his ONE Middleweight World Championship belt at “ONE Infinity 1.”

However, de Ridder had to pull out from the title bout. On February 25, 2020, he explained, “Let me tell you what happened and why “Burmese Python” Aung La Nsang is fighting someone else next.”

“ONE Championship needed Aung to be on their first infinity card on April 10,” de Ridder continued. “That is 8 weeks from the moment I stepped out of the ring in Jakarta from a hard fought victory. Take a few weeks to recover and the traveling half way around the world twice of those 8 weeks and it just felt like it would leave me too little time to prepare for the fight of my life. So I declined hoping to push the date back.”

“I will be watching the fight closely on April 10th and will be ready to finally get my hands on that strap soon after,” the undefeated Dutch MMA fighter added. “Meanwhile, I have healed up nicely, I’m very happy to be back home enjoying my time with my family and training hard again. Thanks for all the lovely messages and see you soon!”

ONE Championship will hold “ONE Infinity 1” at the Istora Senayan on April 10, 2020. In the main event of the evening, Aung will defend his ONE Middleweight World Championship belt from former champion Vitaly Bigdash, 35, of Russia.

This marks the third time Aung and Bigdash are competing in the ONE Championship cage. On October 9, 2015, the Russian challenger became the ONE Middleweight World Champion by dethroning then champion Igor “Lionheart” Svirid, 33, of Kazakhstan at “ONE: Tigers of Asia” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

On January 14, 2017, Bigdash successfully defended the title from Aung at “ONE: Quest for Power” in Jakarta. But when they had their rematch at “ONE: Light of a Nation” in Yangon, Myanmar on June 30, 2017, the Burmese challenger dethroned the Russian defending champion.

Aung is also the reigning ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion.  Meanwhile, here is de Ridder right after his successful ONE Championship debut in the Philippines:

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