Indonesia’s Stefer Rahardian is rapidly closing in on a world title shot.
The 31-year-old Jakarta native has defeated every single opponent who has stood across from him. Now, as he moves down to the strawweight division, he aims to build his victorious run, become even more dominant than before, and secure an opportunity to compete for the belt.
On Saturday, 12 May, when ONE Championship returns to the Jakarta Convention Center for ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, Rahardian will debut in his new weight class against fearsome Indian warrior Himanshu Kaushik, and try to take another massive leap forward in his quest for gold.
As we await Rahardian’s homecoming, let’s take a look back at four of his finest wins to date.
A 46-Second Submission
In August 2016, Rahardian made his promotional debut in the ONE Indonesia Flyweight Tournament at ONE: TITLES & TITANS. He clashed with fellow countryman Yotha Hutagalung, and he could not have been any more impressive.
A mere 40 seconds into the first round, the crafty grappler took the action to the mat with a beautiful trip takedown.
Once the contest hit the canvas, he quickly began to soften his adversary up with a storm of ground and pound.
As Hutagalung attempted to escape the onslaught, Rahardian spun around to his opponent’s back, and locked in a rear-naked choke. It was so deep that there could be no escape. The tap came seconds later.
Just like that, the Jakarta hero had announced himself to the ONE roster with a jaw-dropping 46-second submission victory. He would go on to defeat Hendrick Wijaya later that night in 96 seconds with the same technique to become the tournament champion.
Stifling A Knockout Artist
After winning his first three bouts inside the ONE cage, Rahardian was rewarded with a massive test in April 2017 at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY in Manila, Philippines.
He met Filipino knockout artist Eugene Toquero, a battle-tested veteran who has faced the cream of the flyweight crop, including Gianni Subba, Riku Shibuya, and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.
Despite Toquero’s veteran experience, and having the advantage of the bout taking place in his home country, the Indonesian put on a grappling clinic.
Toquero actually landed the first takedown of the contest, but Rahardian quickly reversed position, and controlled the entirety of the opening stanza on the mat. He floated from position to position, and even threatened with a guillotine choke.
His dominance continued in the second round. A perfectly-timed double-leg takedown just 10 seconds into the frame set the tone. Another five minutes of domination followed, and the Indonesian hero impressed the cageside judges with almost an entire round of positional control.
The final stanza also opened with a takedown in a matter of seconds. Though referee Olivier Coste stood the pair up shortly thereafter, the contest soon hit the mat again, and Rahardian controlled the remainder of the round with his commanding grappling – even after he’d absorbed a hard knee.
It was a clinic of ground control, and the judges’ decision to award Rahardian a unanimous decision was an easy one.
Prevailing Over A Kun Khmer Specialist
Rahardian returned home to Jakarta at ONE: TOTAL VICTORY in September 2017. He put his perfect record on the line against Sim Bunsrun, a Cambodian-based Kun Khmer specialist who was on a promising three-bout win streak.
However, just like he did in his promotional debut against Hutagalung, the Indonesian hero dazzled with a lightning-quick submission win.
Early in the first frame, Rahardian shot for his first takedown. After a prolonged and impressive display of takedown defense from Bunsrun, the Jakarta native finally showed his advantage in technique, and landed right into full mount.
From this position, he pelted his Cambodian rival with ground strikes, then slipped onto his back, and secured a rear-naked choke. Though Bunsrun showed tremendous resilience, he eventually had no choice but to tap. The end came at the 1:07 mark of the first round.
Amazingly, it was precisely the outcome Rahardian predicted one day before the bout.
Keeping “The Spider” On The Floor
Although Imran’s accomplishments in the grappling arts are quite impressive, the Jakarta resident showed he was far superior on the mat.
Early in the first round, Rahardian succeeded with a perfectly-timed takedown. From there, he worked from inside his foe’s guard, and unloaded with an onslaught of ground strikes to close out the opening frame.
Sensing he possessed an advantage on the mat, the Indonesian once again grounded Imran with a double-leg takedown when the action restarted. He then racked up nearly an entire round of complete control, as he stifled his foe from top position, and didn’t give him an inch to mount any offense of his own.
Despite his second-round dominance on the mat, Rahardian opted to strike for the first phase of the final round. He had real success, repeatedly tagging “The Spider” with a stiff right hand.
When the Pakistani started to find his groove on the feet and fire back, however, Rahardian once again dragged the affair to his world, where he took pole position for the remainder of the contest, raining down strikes from top position.
The Indonesian not only won the bout via unanimous decision, he also won his opponent’s admiration, as Imran told him later at the hotel: “You are going to be the next world champion.”