Several athletes have built a case for their status as a top Indonesian fighter and ONE Championship is flush with talent from the country.
However, they’ve yet to break through into elite competition and get as much attention as their Philippine, Chinese, or Japanese counterparts.
In this article, we’ll be listing the top 5 fighters from Indonesia, their records, and what they can do to get to the next level.
After his victory at ONE: Warrior’s Code, Sunoto (12-7) is now a gatekeeper in the Bantamweight division.
Fighters that were able to beat him went on to have further success against stiffer competition. While those that lost to him are either no longer in ONE or have become irrelevant.
While many promotions thrive on having fighters like him as a proving ground, it’s not a good formula for job security. He needs to win against proven talent if he wants to be more than just a terminator of cans.
Since his last two fights have been at Catchweight, it might be an indication that he needs to move up in weight. If that’s the case, there are two options for Sunoto moving forward.
If he decides to stay at Bantamweight, he should fight fellow gatekeeper Bruno Pucci (7-4). Not only is Pucci a veteran with ONE since 2013, but he was also one of those that derailed the trajectory of almost-contender Kotetsu Boku last year.
A win over Pucci may lead to a fight with Dae Hwan Kim or a rematch with Shuya Kamikubo.
If he moves up to Featherweight, there’s nothing better than a rematch with Edward Kelly (12-8). The Ferocious Lakay fighter beat Sunoto in 2016 and moved up in weight two years later.
Kelly’s record has been up and down in the division and will give Sunoto a good look at where he is on the pecking order if he wins.
An under the radar prospect, Elipitua Siregar (4-1) has been quietly choking out his competition since 2018. His latest victory was a first-round submission of Egi Rozten at ONE: Dawn of Valor.
In his short tenure with ONE, Siregar has shown more consistent quality as a grappler and is surprising a lot of fighters that don’t look into him before facing him in the cage.
This performance was overshadowed, however, by his more recognizable compatriots Abro Fernandes and Eko Roni Saputra.
Fortunately for Siregar, this makes his path forward clear. He needs to defeat either of these two and leapfrog over the competition.
A win over any of them would put his record in the spotlight and get him the recognition he deserves as a top Indonesian fighter.
Newer fans might not recognize Stefer Rahardian (9-4) as a top Indonesian fighter in the Strawweight division. But for two years from 2016 to mid-2018, Rahardian was unstoppable and had yet to taste defeat.
All four of his losses came against quality competition, including the Catalan Brothers and former champion Alex Silva. Thanks to his early run, Rahardian is secure near the top of the most successful fighters in his country.
However, he’ll need to start a new chapter in his career to prove that he can come back from the disaster of the last two years. He’s already done the first step, with a decision victory over Adrian Mattheis in ONE: Dawn of Valor.
His next fight is obvious – Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
This was one of the fights originally booked for the lead card of ONE: King of the Jungle. It was later replaced by Murad Ramazanov vs. Bae Myung Ho.
In our Read the Lead for that event, we mentioned that this is a fight worthy of the main card. Nothing has changed since then and a fight against another former champion should give Rahardian the momentum he needs to make a title run.
Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol
The most active fighter among everyone on this list, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol (7-4) is one of the women we said could possibly challenge Angela Lee.
She has only had three years to establish herself as a top Indonesian fighter and has done so with an unprecedented work rate.
She’s seemingly ended the ONE careers of Rome Trinidad and Krisna Limbaga, as well as swatting down the hype for Nou Srey Pov and Bozhena Antoniyar.
She’s already proven to be a step above most of the competition and is firmly in the contender’s circle. What she needs now is a fight with a former title challenger to prove she’s at the level to fight for the belt.
That leaves only one option – Jenny Huang.
Huang hasn’t won since 2016. But all of her losses were against the top talent in the division. This includes Angela Lee, Gina Iniong, Mei Yamaguchi twice, and Jihin Radzuan.
Mei Yamaguchi will always be the best measure that all future contenders will be judged by. However, Jenny Huang is a close second.
The only other fighters to challenge Lee so far – Istela Nunes and Xiong Jingnan – are in another promotion and another weight class respectively.
Adrian Mattheis (9-5) might not stand out from his contemporaries on paper, but not a single Indonesian fighter compares to him in the cage.
Only one of his nine wins have gone the distance, ensuring his fights are always exciting must-see events. Some would comment his style is a double-edged sword since only one in his five losses has also gone the distance.
A true make or break fighter, he torches all the lesser competition but flames out against better fighters. A virtual anti-thesis to his more careful compatriot and rival Stefer Rahardian.
Like Rahardian, Mattheis’ losses come from a similar cast of talent. The Catalan Brothers, Kritsada Kongsirichai, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
A good fight would be against one of the more exciting prospects of 2019 – Miao Litao. The Chinese fighter was making an exciting run last year defeating Dejdamrong and Pongsiri Mitsatit. Before eating a flying knee from Jeremy Miado.
A win over Miao can help book a rematch with either Catalan, whose names now provide a lot of prestige in the Strawweight division.
Did we miss your favorite Indonesian fighter? Who do you think deserves a spot in the Top 5? Tell us what you think and build the case for why you’re right.
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