March 11, 2022
Indonesian rising star Eko Roni Saputra has shocked the world with an incredible 10-second knockout over Liu Peng Shuai last year, and now he is ready to take on another challenge to continue his winning streak.
At ONE: LIGHTS OUT, which emanates live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, March 11, the Indonesian wrestling champion will battle Chan Rothana in a flyweight mixed martial arts contest.
A win will extend his unbeaten run to six in a row as well as opening the door for him to enter the flyweight rankings. However, he admitted that beating the 36-year-old Rothana will not be an easy task particularly because he has defeated two fellow Indonesians previously.
Rothana, a Kun Khmer champion feared for his striking, is known to be an Indonesia’s kryptonite after previously defeating Abro Fernandes and Rudy Agustian via technical knockout both in the second round.
“Chan Rothana will be one of the strongest opponents I have faced. He has great striking, so this will be a test for me to see how I will fare against him and become better. If I can win this, it means I leveled up,” the 30-year-old Indonesian said.
“I think I have one more opponent after Rothana to [break into the top five], that’s why I need to win this fight. But I don’t want to be hasty or ego driven. I’ll perform to the best of my ability and focus as this matchup will determine my next opponent. Of course, I must win, but it won’t be that easy,” he added.
The classic matchup between a striker and a grappler has long been anticipated by Indonesian fans who put high hopes on Eko to avenge his compatriots.
But while he respects the Cambodian’s striking, the decorated wrestler is confident his game plan and preparations will help him continue his impressive winning streak.
“His striking is great; he uses elbows and kicks a lot. But I’ve prepared for that. I think he’s weak on the ground. I will play things cool and pressure him. I don’t want to rush into a takedown or look for a KO. I’ll look for my chance and strike when I see it,” the Samarinda-born fighter said.
“In the videos I watched, his striking is good, but we won’t know for sure until we face each other in the arena. We’ll figure it out when we’re fist to fist, I want to focus and pressure him and never give him an inch for his striking. He might act like Stamp [Fairtex] for example – she’s a striker, but she can bring the fight in the ground. We’ve prepared for everything,” he added.
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