Reinier de Ridder's elite grappling has already made him a two-division ONE world champion in mixed martial arts, and the Dutch superstar recently honed his craft with a pair of legends during a trip to North America.
After stopping at some of the top martial arts gyms in the United States over the last few weeks, De Ridder wrapped up his travels by training under the tutelage of famed Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher in Austin, Texas.
He wrote on Instagram afterward:
"That's a wrap for my stay in Texas. I'm not a guy to idolize people, but I have always looked up to what @danaherjohn and @gordonlovesjiujitsu are doing in grappling. And they did not disappoint. Their technical ability and the way they approach techniques is something every martial artist on the planet can learn from."
For his part, de Ridder holds a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, and he's used those grappling skills to earn 10 submission victories in his 15-0 MMA career.
He also took a quick break from the all-encompassing sport to battle Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Andre Galvao in a submission grappling match at ONE X in March, showing that he's dedicated to testing himself against the best ground specialists in the world.
That commitment and love of Brazilian jiu-jitsu led "The Dutch Knight" to join Danaher and Ryan in Texas – and it appears the grueling experience left a lasting impression on him.
In a separate Instagram caption, De Ridder wrote:
"I have died and gone to Jiu-Jitsu heaven, or I flew to Jiu-Jitsu heaven and died there. But I definitely feel dead right now. Life is good, thank you guys."
De Ridder Spends Time With Buchecha, Moraes In Florida
De Ridder's trip to North America also consisted of a stop at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla.
The famous gym houses some of the greatest talents in combat sports, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend turned MMA rising star Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and reigning ONE flyweight world champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes.
Both Almeida and Moraes have used their world-class grappling to great success in the all-around sport, with "Buchecha" owning a pair of submission wins in his first two MMA fights and "Mikinho" recently defending his gold with a guillotine choke of Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE X.
For de Ridder, it was another chance to develop his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills alongside the best in the business.
Finally, "Dutch Knight" began his United States tour by sharing the mats with old foe Aung La N Sang at Sanford MMA.
The 31-year-old took his middleweight and light heavyweight belts from "The Burmese Python," but the two superstars put their rivalry aside and sparred together at the highly regarded gym in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Though it remains to be seen where de Ridder will go from here – whether he defends a world title or challenges for another strap at heavyweight – it's clear he's determined to take his skill set to an even higher level.
This story first published at ONEFC.com.