An epic clash of title contenders will headline ONE: TOTAL VICTORY, as former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov duels Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio. It is a bout with major implications, as the winner could make a strong case for a rematch against reigning champion Adriano Moraes.
Also, on Saturday, 16 September, there will be four talented athletes who will descend upon the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia for the first time, and make their promotional debut in ONE Championship.
Some of these talents are established champions in other martial arts disciplines, while the rest have spent years traveling throughout Southeast Asia to train at the best camps. Not matter their histories, they all have one thing in common – the dream of becoming a world champion.
Growing up Svay Rieng, a southeastern province in Cambodia, Phat Soda overcame a tragic childhood to become one of the country’s best combat sports athletes with over 100 bouts of Kun Khmer under his belt.
The 28-year-old’s parents passed away when he was a child, and some of the crueler kids in the community often used the tragedy to mock and belittle him. Naturally, that angered the young Soda, and led to many, many childhood confrontations against bullies.
Soda, however, turned his adversity into something positive. He trained in Cambodia’s national martial art, Kun Khmer, and excelled at it. He then moved to the nation’s capital, Phnom Phen, trained at Cambodian Top Team, and has reigned as the National Kun Khmer Champion for the past three years.
With such a decorated background, he takes the next step in his evolution, and makes his ONE debut against ONE Indonesia Strawweight Tournament Champion Adrian “Papua Badboy” Matheis. He already feels the pressure.
“I am competing against a guy in his hometown, so it will not be easy. But I am here to pull off an upset,” he says. “It is the first time I am competing in such a large show, and it happens to be Asia’s largest, so it is super important that I make a name for myself.”
Riski “King Kong” Umar claims to have lived his childhood in the jungle with a group of wild monkeys, but now, the 24-year-old keeps different company. Today, he polishes his skills alongside some of the world’s best martial artists, and has been for the past couple of years.
The Ternate, Indonesia native started his martial arts journey with taekwondo and the national art of silat. At one point, he even trained with Phuket Top Team, and garnered a 4-2 record as a professional Muay Thai competitor.
Umar’s eye has long been focused on ONE. Two years ago, he relocated to the island paradise of Bali to round out his skill set, and train alongside world-class martial artists at Bali MMA such as Andrew Leone, Muhammad Aiman, and Stefer Rahardian, the latter of which is also competing at ONE: TOTAL VICTORY.
Now, after years of waiting, Umar finally makes his official debut against fellow countryman Adi Nugroho, and he plans to use this match as a way to announce his arrival in the promotion’s stacked bantamweight division.
“This match is important because it will allow me to showcase my skills to the people of Indonesia and the world,” Umar states. “My game plan is to seek and destroy. That is what I am trained to do.”
“The Little Squirrel” Liu De Li Ge Ri Hu (2-2) is the only Chinese athlete on the upcoming Indonesian card, but that means the spotlight will solely be on him from the world’s largest nation, and he is ready to shine.
Liu, the son of farmers, did not have the best attitude in school. His grades were not particularly good, and he fought frequently with others. That attitude changed in 2012, when he discovered his love for wrestling, eventually capping off his career as the Inner Mongolia Wrestling Champion.
A year following his graduation from university, he started his martial arts training at the TB Fight Club in Beijing, and made his professional debut. Thus far, he has an even record, but the Chinese flyweight is coming off a win in March, and has momentum ahead of his ONE debut.
This weekend, “The Little Squirrel” is scheduled to clash with Asian Kyokushin karate champion Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales, and hopes a dominant victory will elevate his country’s developing scene and its athletes into the spotlight.
“I am excited,” he begins. “I am very proud that I can represent my country, and I hope I can be a model to the young people back home.”
Thai Rithy (5-2) may be the youngest athlete on this list, but he has undoubtedly the most competitive experience of his peers. After all, besides testing his skills in the cage, Rithy also has 100 bouts of Kun Khmer on his impressive resumé.
Only 19 years old, he developed his skills in the striking art of Kun Khmer and traditional khmer wrestling in Cambodia’s Kandal Province at a young age. Rithy proved to be a prodigious talent, and soon decided to forego life on the farm for an adventure in the martial arts world.
The Cambodian Top Team product made his professional debut in 2013 for Cambodia’s Khmer Warrior Challenge, knocking out his opponent in a mere 14 seconds. He soon captured the organization’s featherweight title, and has finished all five of his wins in the cage to date. Impressively, four of those wins were by submission, showcasing his improving all-round skills.
Now graduated to the big leagues of ONE, Rithy is scheduled to meet Indonesian favorite “The Terminator” Sunoto. The Cambodian would love nothing more than to get his sixth first-round finish because he is both looking to make a statement and get some payback for a friend, as the Indonesian defeated his good friend and teammate Chan Heng earlier this year at ONE: QUEST FOR POWER.