For the first time in his mixed martial arts career, Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian is coming off a loss.
It is unfamiliar territory for the 31-year old Indonesian, who began his mixed martial arts career with nine consecutive victories and emerging as one of ONE Championship’s top flyweight prospects.
In his most recent outing this past July in Manila, Rahardian yielded to Filipino martial arts veteran Rene Catalan, who improved his own winning streak to five matches.
While letting go of that 0 in an unscathed record is a hard pill to swallow for some competitors, the Bali MMA product is not dwelling too much in his first career defeat.
“I do not want to wallow in my loss,” Rahardian shared on the ONE Championship website. “I simply want to achieve my best performance again, to gain victory, and improve my record.”
Against Catalan, a former Asian Games Gold Medalist in Wushu, Rahardian is fully aware that striking and aggression was what worked to the Filipino’s advantage.
“I was late in taking the initiative to attack Catalan, while also being less aggressive in taking him down,” he explained. “He is a very experienced fighter, and he was capable of taking the initiative with his strikes and kicks to beat me.”
That’s all in the past now for Rahardian, who’s fully focused on what lies ahead of him, and that’s a showdown with fellow grappler Peng Xue Wen at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES on Saturday, 22 September in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“My coaches and teammates had seen my weaknesses and strengths in that match,” he stated. “I am working my way into training all the basic skills I need to improve for the next fight.”
While Peng’s record may not be as stellar as Rahardian’s, the ONE Jakarta Flyweight Tournament Champion is not looking past his Chinese counterpart.
“Everyone who fights in ONE is a strong athlete,” he expressed, before confidently assuring a victory in front of his countrymen at the Jakarta Convention Center.
“There is no reason to expect your next opponent would be any different, but I am sure I will deliver a stunning victory,” Rahardian added.
In Peng, Rahardian will be facing a former Chinese Greco-Roman national champion with a remarkable 56-4 record on the mats.
The Indonesian standout knows that he will be in for a grappling battle come event night.
“He is a very good wrestler, and he also has lots of experience,” Rahardian acknowledged. “I have never underestimated any of my opponents.”
While Peng has made it clear that he will be targeting a knockout victory over Rahardian, the hometown favorite would rather keep his strategy to himself.
“Right now, I cannot disclose anything ahead of the bout. I can only ask for support in my fight,” he ended.