A pair of world title bouts will headline ONE Championship’s showcase on Friday, July 22.
And in the co-main event, reigning ONE atomweight kickboxing world champion Janet Todd will face debuting Spanish star Lara Fernandez for the ONE interim atomweight muay Thai world title.
De Ridder has been absolutely unstoppable in his MMA career.
"The Dutch Knight," who holds black belts in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, owns a spotless 15-0 professional record in the all-encompassing sport with an 87 percent finishing rate.
In October 2020, the 31-year-old defeated former two-division ONE world champion Aung La N Sang via first-round submission to claim the middleweight crown. The Breda native then routed his old foe in a rematch to take the light heavyweight belt six months later.
De Ridder continued to exert his dominance this past February when he defended his middleweight strap against ONE welterweight world champion Kiamrian Abbasov and forced him to tap in the third round.
Now, "The Dutch Knight" will get the fresh challenge he desires when he puts the ONE middleweight world title on the line against former divisional king Bigdash.
The mighty Russian, who holds a 12-2 MMA record, originally captured the gold by knocking out Igor Svirid in highlight-reel fashion back in October 2015.
Though Bigdash defeated Aung La N Sang in his first ONE middleweight world title defense in January 2017, he dropped the belt and suffered his first career loss in their rematch five months later.
But following another tough defeat, the Russian star bounced back in a major way.
He earned three straight victories – including a triumph over N Sang in their trilogy this past February – to secure this crack at de Ridder and the chance to regain the gold.
Todd faces Fernandez for interim atomweight muay Thai world title
The global fan base will also be treated to a thrilling ONE interim atomweight muay Thai world title co-main event between atomweight kickboxing queen Todd and highly regarded newcomer Fernandez.
Todd challenged for the atomweight muay Thai division’s inaugural belt in her promotional debut back in February 2019 but fell on the wrong side of a decision.
Since then, the American star has gone on a six-fight winning streak in the standup arts, claiming the ONE atomweight kickboxing world title in the process.
At ONE 159, Todd will attempt to join an exclusive list of two-sport ONE world champions.
But to do so, she’ll need to beat Fernandez, a WBC and ISKA world champion who’s eager to add the richest prize in muay Thai to her trophy collection.
Meanwhile, reigning atomweight muay Thai queen Allycia Hellen Rodrigues is still getting back into competition shape following the birth of her first child.
She is expected to meet the winner of this match in a world title unification bout at a later date.
Stay tuned for more details about ONE 159.
This story first published at ONEFC.com.