Bali. Indonesian mixed martial arts fighter Stefer Rahardian has the opportunity to become the world flyweight champion in ONE Championship if he wins an upcoming bout at the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, Jakarta, on Saturday (20/01).
Should Stefer defeat his opponent in next'weeks bout, where he will fight Pakistan's Muhammad Imran, the Indonesian national will advance to face off against current flyweight champion Adriano Moraes.
Being the fourth ranked flyweight fighter in Southeast Asia, Stefer has chosen to focus in facing one fight at a time.
"I am aiming for the world champion, as it is a dream for all ONE Championship fighters. I have yet to think of how to get there [as a world champion], as I only think about defeating Imran in the next fight. Then, I will focus on getting the belt," Stefer told the Jakarta Globe on the sidelines of a training session at MMA Bali on Thursday.
Stefer said his coach Don Carlo-Clauss had prepared an intensive training program a month prior to the bout, consisting of at least two training sessions each day, as well as strength and body conditioning to ensure a stable peak performance.
"Every day, he is here working with a professional team, and every evening he is back doing private lessons with all coaches on striking, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. So, he is very prepared," Carlo said. "I expect him to win by submission. Stefer is going to do what he does best, we’re going to do striking, set up for the take down, and either choke [his opponent] or take his arm."
Don Carlo-Clauss added that Stefer has meets all the requirements of becoming a world flyweight champion.
"The key for Stefer is his physique, focus, technique and speed. He is a complete person and I think he has no weaknesses. Stefer is good in all areas, so I think we would only go out and prepare. I think [it is not good] if you are looking too much at the opponent, as it would be better for Stefer to become strong in every [aspect]," he said.
Loren Mack, vice president of public relations and communication at ONE Championship, also agreed with Carlo, as he thinks Stefer would be a good example for all other fighters from Indonesia.
Mack also ensured that ONE Championship would see Stefer fight against Adriano Moraes if he wins his bout against Imran. "They will meet, but we have yet to decide the location. It can be in Jakarta, Surabaya, Singapore or China."
Stefer will be heading to Jakarta on Tuesday, while still undergoing more training sessions and physical exercises. His ONE Championship debut was marked by a victory in August 2016, when he defeated Yotha Hutagalung and Hendrick Wijaya by first round rear-naked choke to become the tournament winner.
Afterwards, Stefer has blazed a trail in the ONE Championship cage, winning three additional bouts to cap an amazing run as a professional. In his last outing, Stefer outperformed Cambodia’s Sim Bunsrun to win by impressive first-round submission. Still unbeaten, he will put his perfect record on the line against Imran in a ONE Flyweight World Championship title eliminator in an event dubbed the "ONE: Kings of Courage."