After spending months in Singapore’s ‘Circuit Breaker,’ essentially training at home, multiple-time Indonesian National Wrestling Champion Eko Roni Saputra is ready, willing, and able to make his much anticipated return to the ONE Circle.
Saputra is set to take on promotional newcomer Murugan “Wolverine” Silvarajoo of Malaysia in a three round affair at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, scheduled for Friday, 9 October, live from Singapore.
Similar to what the NBA has done in Orlando, FL for the 2020 NBA Playoffs, ONE Championship has put together a stringent set of protocols to ensure the health and safety of its athletes and staff in it’s own ‘Singapore bubble.’
Saputra has been working very hard on taking his game to the next level, and is excited to finally be able to compete again after months on the sidelines.
“I think the hardest was adjusting to training at home, as the gym was closed. But I managed to improvise and train. I have had my family with me during the lockdown, so I am blessed things are not too bad for me,” said Saputra.
“I am truly excited to be able to compete in the ONE Circle again. It has been a while. This is important as fighting is my passion, and my career. I have been training hard at home despite the lockdown and the pandemic, so I am really looking forward to utilizing and testing my skills again after so long.”
Growing up in poverty as a child in Samarinda on the island of Borneo, Saputra learned boxing from his father, who was a boxing coach. He would later transition to wrestling, and then dedicate his life to the grappling arts. He instantly excelled, and went on to win multiple Indonesian national championships.
Eventually, Saputra’s path led him to transition into mixed martial arts, and in April of last year, he made his ONE Championship debut.
Although Saputra unfortunately lost to Niko Soe due to a cut he suffered in the first round, causing the ringside physician to call a halt to the contest, he’s shown steady improvement to his overall skill set in his succeeding bouts. He has since added two resounding victories to his record.
At ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, and despite his remaining weaknesses, Saputra is looking to further showcase how much better has gotten since.
“I worked on improving my game plan since my last fight, as I still have many weaknesses. Right now, I am doing a lot of additional work, focusing on my MMA skills specifically. I am grateful for my trainers, Siyar and Derian, who have both provided me a lot of advice throughout my training. And also, not forgetting my teammates at Evolve who have all supported and encouraged me throughout my journey,” said Saputra.
“I feel that I have improved but I am still not satisfied with where I am right now. I will continue to learn and train to make up for my weaknesses. I trained hard with Siyar and Derian, and they have always taught me step-by-step, and gradually I am improving my skill set.”
ONE Championship returns for its next big blockbuster with ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, scheduled for Friday, 9 October, and once again, the world’s greatest martial artists are ready to take the stage and showcase their incredible skills in the ONE Circle.
In the main event, reigning ONE Strawweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand will defend his Muay Thai title against top contender Josh “Timebomb” Tonna of Australia.
For Saputra, being able to compete on this card is not only an opportunity to show the world his improved skills, but also to give hope to all his fans back home in Indonesia, and fans all over the world who are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has changed everyone’s life. I believe sporting events, such as ONE Championship, will help serve not only as great entertainment, but also to liven up the fans’ spirit. Also, the sportsmanship in the ONE Circle will inspire and ignite hope and strength. Sports are always very inspiring, and I hope that by seeing us compete, people get motivated with strength and courage to go through what they are going through during these challenging times,” said Saputra.
“I want to thank my fans for always supporting me. I will put on the best version of Eko Roni Saputra this 9 October. Thank you for the continuous support on my journey here through ONE Championship. I will proudly represent Indonesia, and fight to make everyone in my country proud.”