Bigger Challenges Await The Heroes Of ONE: GRIT AND GLORY

May 18, 2018

It was a glorious night of martial arts action on Saturday, 12 May, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

A new world champion was crowned, a middleweight world title contender emerged, and hometown heroes delighted the crowd inside an electric Jakarta Convention Center at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.

Now that the dust has settled from the action inside the cage, take a look at what could be next for our superstars who showcased their grit, and claimed glory in Jakarta.

Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito

Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito gained redemption with a masterful grappling performance against the first and only man to defeat him, Alex “Little Rock” Silva.

Although the contest was incredibly close, the aggressive Japanese warrior did just enough to earn a split decision victory, and reclaimed the ONE Strawweight World Championship. Now “Nobita” has a few different options for his next bout.

While he could face Silva once more in a rubber match for the gold, he could also take on the challenge of an all-Japan affair with Hayato Suzuki. The grappling specialist’s 18-1-2 record is among the most impressive in the weight class.

Aside from those two elite athletes, “Nobita” could find another entertaining option in the surging contender below.

Stefer Rahardian

Indonesian superstar Stefer Rahardian exited the cage to a chorus of cheers, as local fans supported their hero in conquering seven-time Indian national wushu champion Himanshu Kaushik.

Rahardian, a highly-decorated Indonesian grappling champion, took Kaushik to the mat in the opening minute of their strawweight clash, and then methodically worked towards a rear-naked choke. He wound up submitting the Indian less than two and a half minutes into the contest.

The Bali MMA product remains undefeated, and seems to have found a new home in the strawweight division, which is full of contenders that pose intriguing match-ups.

For those interested in seeing Rahardian tested by another imposing striking specialist, pairings against the likes of Filipino wushu prodigy Joshua “The Passion” Pacio or Japanese veteran Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya could offer a fresh challenge.

However, because of his flawless run, he could get the nod to step up and face either Naito, in what would undoubtedly be another intriguing grappling showdown for the World Champion.

Leandro Ataides

Five-time BJJ World Champion Leandro Ataides turned out his best performance to date against former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash.

Despite his grappling credentials, the Brazilian showcased some sensational striking, and scored a TKO halfway through the third stanza. With the win, “Leo” becomes only the second person to defeat the Russian, and the first to finish him.

By doing so, he has secured a title match with reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang, although the exact date has yet to be determined.

Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol

Indonesian Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol’s breakout year just got even better, as she ripped through Filipina striker Rome “The Rebel” Trinidad in front of her hometown fans in Jakarta.

The Indonesian national wushu champion leaned on her evolving grappling skills to stifle Trinidad, and submitted “The Rebel” via guillotine choke midway through the opening round. That victory marked her third success of 2018, and she remains flawless inside the cage this year.

Such a successful run surely deserves a step up in competition, and an assignment against one of the bigger names in the women’s atomweight division.

One option is Thai star Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige, who could give the Jakarta native a tough test on the ground. There is also Jomary Torres, a well-rounded and undefeated Filipina who is similarly shooting up the atomweight ranks.