The main event of ONE on Prime Video 5 will see two champions go head to head in a battle for the promotion’s light heavyweight title.
Reigning two-division king Reinier de Ridder holds both the middleweight and light heavyweight championships, and will put the latter title on the line when he faces the interim heavyweight champion Anatoly Malakhin that will see one man leave the ONE Circle as a two-division champ. Either De Ridder will retain that status, or Malykhin will add a second belt to his resume.
The two main event stars sounded off at the pre-fight press conference ahead of fight night in Manila, with both men looking confident and relaxed ahead of their championship clash.
De Ridder said that his decision to agree to put his light heavyweight title on the line against a bigger, stronger, more powerful opponent was down to one thing.
“I don’t want to relax, I want to be active,” he explained.
“I want to be here every couple of months. I want to defend every belt, my belt, my middleweight belt, my light heavyweight belt, and for me, this is the fight for the heavyweight belt. It’s two top guys, the best guys in ONE Championship going at each other.”
Malykhin, who is moving down a division to capture a second belt, said that he’s grateful for the chance to get himself in the best shape of his career as he bids to become a two-division champion.
“I want to thank you, Chatri, so much for this opportunity,” he said.
“Honestly, I was eating chocolate all the time, it was easy peasy for me, so I’m looking forward to knocking out my opponent as (easy as) one, two, three.
“This is the best shape of my life, I’m ready for it.”
The bout forms the main event of ONE on Prime Video 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, where the passionate Filipino fight fans are set to produce a spectacular atmosphere to match the action inside the Circle on fight night.
“This is going to be an explosive night for Filipino fans and our athletes are in for a treat,” said ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
“They have no idea what’s coming. The Filipino fans are not only the loudest but they are some of the greatest fans on the planet.”
“Two undefeated World Champions with a massive finish rate – I want to say that both [with an] 80-90 percent finish rate. This will be an epic fight to see who’s the best in the world.
“I already believe that Reinier de Ridder is the best middleweight in the world, by far. He would smoke anybody in the other divisions. Anatoly, I believe, is the greatest heavyweight on the planet.
“I’m telling you that RDR’s going to get knocked out or Anatoly’s going to get choked out. That’s my prediction.”
ONE on Prime Video 5 takes place Friday, December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines. The event streams live via watch.onefc.com and in the United States on Prime Video.