The heroes of ONE Championship are set to descend upon the Indonesian capital yet again.
On Saturday, 16 September, some of the world’s best martial artists will arrive at the Jakarta Convention Center, put on another night of thrilling action at ONE: TOTAL VICTORY.
The event, which will be the eighth time Jakarta has played host to Asia’s greatest martial arts spectacle, features a headlining tilt between former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov and former title challenger Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.
Besides the epic main event, the rest of the card is loaded other exciting matches featuring talented veterans who are trying to win their way back into title contention, as well as promising up-and-comers who are looking to make a statement.
There are three martial artists, in particular, who could emerge as stars in their own right come 16 September.
Undefeated Jakarta native Stefer Rahardian (6-0) is on a roll. Ever since making his professional debut in 2015, the Carlson Gracie BJJ brown belt has used his dominant grappling skills to steamroll the opposition.
The 30-year-old made his first ONE appearance back in August 2016, and scored back-to-back rear-naked choke victories en route to claiming the ONE Jakarta Flyweight Tournament Championship. He followed that up with a pair of decision wins, including one over top Filipino knockout artist Eugene Toquero in April.
Now, he draws Cambodian Top Team’s Sim Bunsrun (3-3) at ONE: TOTAL VICTORY. Although Bunsrun, a Khun Khmer specialist, had a rough start to his professional career, he has put everything together and elevated his game. The 24-year-old Kompong Cham native is on a three-bout winning streak, and will be looking to establish himself by beating an undefeated talent.
It may appear as if Bunsrun has the skills to counter his Indonesian opponent, but a strong finish for Rahardian should grant him a place in the upper echelon of the organization’s flyweight division.
Yago “Codorninha” Bryan
The 25-year-old Muay Thai specialist is a product of the famous Nova Uniao gym in Brazil, and made his presence felt on the martial arts scene when he captured the Shooto South American Strawweight Championship in just his third professional bout.
Those credentials made him worthy of a world title shot upon his promotional debut against then-undefeated titleholder Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in November 2015. For 25 minutes, the two strikers exchanged blows, but “Kru Rong” bested his Brazilian opposition via unanimous decision.
Bryan moved up in weight for his next bout, but dropped another exciting contest to flyweight contender Gianni Subba. To date, the Brazilian’s only losses have been via decision, and against the cream of the crop.
Now, he moves back to his natural weight class at strawweight, and draws fellow former world title challenger, Filipino boxer Roy Doliguez, in Jakarta. Both of these athletes love to throw heavy leather, and Bryan could use this as an opportunity to remind everyone what he is capable of.
Adrian “Papua Badboy” Matheis
Adrian Matheis (3-4) was off to a hot start in ONE. The kindhearted martial artist known as the “Papua Badboy” made his promotional debut in August 2016, where he scored a pair of quick knockouts to win a one-night tournament and the right to be called the ONE Strawweight Indonesia Tournament Champion.
However, thus far in 2017, he has had a rough year. He has been matched up against some of the best strawweights in the world, including Wushu World Champion Rene Catalan and ex-ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, but came up short in both encounters.
At just 24 years of age, Matheis has gained a tremendous amount of cage experience in such a quick amount of time, having faced such accomplished world champions. Although he was unsuccessful, the ever-improving talent can solidify his status as one of the weight class’ premier talents, and truly surface as a national hero with a dominant and thrilling victory over Cambodian debutant Phat Soda.
Not only does the Jakarta-based competitor possess the natural ability to do so, but he also has an inspirational backstory that could resonate with today’s youth. Quite simply, Matheis has what it takes to be a role model.