Stefer Rahardian had the opportunity to propel his name into title contention, and he did just that on Saturday, 20 January.
The Indonesian martial arts star defeated Pakistan’s Muhammad “The Spider” Imran via unanimous decision in the co-main event of ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE, which emanated from the Jakarta Convention Center.
The roaring arena was behind the hometown hero from the outset, and the local warrior did not disappoint, especially in a ONE Flyweight World Title eliminator.
Imran struck first, landing an early left hand, but it was all Rahardian once the bout hit the canvas. The 31-year-old owned the action on the mat, keeping Imran pressed to the canvas and unable to get off much offense.
“The Spider” worked to slow the onslaught of Rahardian in the second, kicking the lead leg in the opening moments. The Indonesian BJJ champion would not be denied, however, as he snared Imran with another takedown, with more ground-and-pound to close the round.
Imran came out firing in an attempt to steal a victory in the final stanza, but he once again found himself on the defensive when the Indonesian’s stiff right hand glanced off his chin.
Rahardian quickly advanced, scored a takedown, and continued to deliver a barrage of punches and elbows, which all but sealed his victory.
After three rounds of action, the judges unanimously awarded the win to the hometown hero, and despite the bout being a world championship eliminator, Rahardian was reluctant to call for a title shot.
“I just want to keep improving, fix my weaknesses and keep working hard with my team, he said following the bout.
Rahardian remains perfect, with an 8-0 record, and surges towards the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Imran may have lost in his promotional debut and sees his record drop to 5-2, but he put forth a valiant effort, and will undoubtedly see the ONE cage soon again.