After a disappointing 2017, when illness and martial arts competitions limited his appearances, “The Terminator” Sunoto is driven to make 2018 an marquee year in his ONE Championship career.
The Indonesian bantamweight kicked off the new year in dominant fashion this past January, as he handily submitted Cambodia’s Rin Saroth at ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE in front of a packed home crowd at the Jakarta Convention Center.
Sunoto dictated the action with his grappling, and although his Cambodian adversary did an admirable job of nullifying his attacks in the opening stanza, he forced a submission via Americana early in the second round.
Even though things did not go according to his original plan, “The Terminator” was nonetheless confident in his abilities, and that showed.
“I was not too surprised by the victory. I expected to win, but I wanted an opportunity to show off a little bit. However, I had to finish the match early. I felt I had a pulled muscle in my right shoulder,” the 32-year-old Jakarta native explains.
“I did not expect that Rin would be waiting for me. His game plan was to counter me, and that spoiled my game plan of a slugfest.”
The Indonesian, however, may very well get the slugfest he desires this coming weekend.
Samsudin, a 27-year-old who trains out of Borneo Tribal Squad MMA, is a WBF Asia-Pacific Light Heavyweight Champion who made an unforgettable return to ONE Championship last September.
Merely 24 hours following the unexpected passing of his father, the Malaysian continued with his planned bout against Indonesia’s Jeremy Meciaz. Despite an early leg lock scare, Samsudin powered through, and scored an emotional first-round TKO win.
While Samsudin has only had four cage bouts to date, Sunoto has studied the little tape he has found, and has incorporated some of that knowledge into his training camp.
“There is a not a lot of footage of him,” says Adri Kumara, who serves as Sunoto’s manager. “He is well-versed on the ground, but that does not tell a lot. Sunoto is just getting his strikes ready, and his ground game ready.”
As it stands, “The Terminator” trains six days a week, usually twice a day, with a combination of conditioning and technical training in wrestling and striking
During the weekends, training gets a little bit more relaxed. He will go to various gyms in Jakarta, and meet up with new athletes from various disciplines to exchange pointers. As Sunoto says: “It is good to meet other styles.”
The Indonesian is banking on defeating Samsudin in Bangkok, and then hopes to get a couple of more matches later this year against top martial artists who will bring him closer to contention for the ONE Bantamweight World Title.
Sunoto’s logic is quite simple.
“[I want to go up against] any contender who was defeated by the champion, like Kevin Belingon or Toni Tauru,” he says.
“Both of them have faced the champion. When I face them, I will hopefully defeat them, [and then] I would be in the title picture.”
However, he will need to get by the resilient Samsudin first at ONE: IRON WILL. If he does that, he will undoubtedly be a little bit closer to his desired goal.
Bangkok | 24 March | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onewill18