A major shake-up has hit the ONE on TNT IV card next week.
Originally, the card’s main event was expected to feature the rubber match between ONE light heavyweight champ Aung La N Sang, and nemesis Vitaly Bigdash. The pair had fought twice previously, at middleweight, winning one fight each.
However, a failed COVID-19 test by Bigdash has seen him drop out of the fight. Instead, Reinier de Ridder, who recently submitted Aung La to claim his middleweight title, will step up to challenge for “The Burmese Python’s” other belt.
Cageside Press confirmed the news late Friday with promotion officials, following an initial report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
de Ridder (13-0), a 30-year old Dutch fighter with a strong grappling background, defeated N Sang via rear-naked choke in October to claim his first world title. The undefeated fighter, who is 4-0 under the ONE banner, has not competed since.
The bout will also be the first for N Sang since the loss of his middleweight title. Prior to facing Reinier de Ridder, the Sanford MMA fighter had won seven straight, including memorable fights with Ken Hasegawa and Brandon Vera, among others.
ONE on TNT IV airs in the U.S. on April 28, with the show being the fourth and final ONE on TNT card in the month of April. The broadcast sees the promotion return to a live format, and also includes the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki, and Oumar Kane.