Multiple-time Indonesian national wrestling champion Eko Roni Saputra is fresh off a resounding victory in early October — an impressive first-round submission over Malaysia’s Murugan “Wolverine” Silvarajoo.
The 29-year-old returns now, heading into his fifth professional mixed martial arts bout, and gunning for his fourth straight victory.
Saputra is scheduled to meet 3-time Filipino Kyokushin Karate Champion Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales in a three round mixed martial arts contest at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, scheduled for global broadcast on Friday, 6 November.
With momentum on his side, Saputra looks to impress once again. Despite being faced with another dangerous striker, Saputra says he’s ready to turn some heads and prove that he’s a legitimate contender at flyweight.
“Ramon Gonzales has great kicks. But I have already learned how to counter all that, and I’ve made a great strategy with my team to fight him,” said Saputra.
“My focus is coming conditioned for this fight. This fight is no different to me than the last one. The bottomline is I have to focus on every match.”
Judging by his last performance, Saputra is improving at an exponential rate, particularly in the way he can mix up his striking to complement jiu-jitsu. The keylock submission finish against Silvarajoo is a great indication that Saputra is really getting comfortable in the ONE Circle.
Still, despite his personal growth, the rising Indonesian star gives all the credit to those who have helped him along his journey, many of them world champions in different combat sports.
“The transition to mixed martial arts wasn’t difficult because of my teammates at Evolve. They have always helped me with my weaknesses,” said Saputra.
“I am still lacking in many areas in terms of mixed martial arts, and so I have so much more to learn. I am so grateful to be learning and training with the Evolve MMA team. I am very comfortable there with my training mates. They correct my mistakes, point out my weaknesses and always teach me how to improve.
“Now, I have mastered more skill sets in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and Muay Thai. Sam-A, Nong-O, Kru Rong, Alex Silva, and everyone in Evolve, we train together and they are always there to teach and help me grow.”
That’s certainly a grocery list of elite level talent at Evolve MMA, where Saputra trains from in Singapore. Saputra believes that as long as he is working with the kind of brilliant minds he trains with everyday, there is no limit to what he can accomplish and learn.
ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore scheduled for air this Friday night, 6 November.
In the main event, reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov of Kyrgyzstan makes the first defense of his world title against undefeated top contender James Nakashima of the United States.
Saputra knows he has a long way to go to reach the top, but he’s confident he can get to the level he wants to achieve if he keeps pounding the pavement and working hard.
“Actually I don’t think I am there yet myself. But if we work hard in this world, nothing is impossible. We can show what we can do. I feel more comfortable with my MMA game now but I have still a lot to learn,” said Saputra.
“The biggest challenge for me now is that the competition in the division is so tight. I have to be ready to fight the best. But I will fight whoever ONE gives me. I will be ready to face them. To all my friends in Indonesia, keep on training hard because Indonesia has so much potential to uncover a World Champion.”
Watch the event this Friday, 6 November on Vidio.com, Kaskus TV, or MAXstream at 7:30 p.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB). Additionally, SCTV will air the event on a same-day delay at 11:30 p.m. WIB.