The card will be stacked from top to bottom when ONE Championship returns to Jakarta, Indonesia, for ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES.
With little more than a week to go until the blockbuster show, it is time to start breaking down the world-class mixed martial arts and ONE Super Series bouts, beginning with the co-main event.
No match-up set for the Jakarta Convention Center on Saturday, 22 September, is likely to be anticipated more by local fans than the strawweight clash between Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian and Peng Xue Wen.
Rahardian is a hometown favorite who has put on a show whenever he has fought in the nation’s capital, and this contest promises to give him a fascinating challenge once again.
Tale Of The Tape
Rahardian (9-1) has been unstoppable stepping into the cage in his hometown.
“The Lion” is undefeated in Indonesia, and has had his hand raised on six occasions in the city he will compete in on 22 September.
The last time the 31-year-old Bali MMA representative competed in Jakarta – at ONE: GRIT & GLORY in May – he made a successful transition down from the flyweight division to defeat Himanshu Kaushik via first-round rear-naked choke.
Peng, on the other hand, will make the trip to Jakarta from Zhongshan, China, for the second time in search of his third ONE win.
The 22-year-old has proven to be a dangerous talent so far during his tenure in the world’s largest martial arts organization, with two first-round TKOs.
He is coming off a stunning 57-second knockout of Eddey Kalai at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS in July, which proved the China Wrestling Silver Medalist is more than just a grappler.
The Keys To Victory
Ever since he made his promotional debut and became the ONE Jakarta Flyweight Tournament Champion with two submissions in a combined 2:22, Rahardian has shown he thrives when he gets the takedown and works for submissions.
When he is on the mat, he excels at softening his opponents up with strikes, before taking their back and submitting them with a rear-naked choke. Half of his wins as a ONE athlete have come via this method. He will have to find a way to put Peng on the mat to play to his strengths.
Even if his opponent offers stubborn resistance, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt is capable of keeping control and dominating with ground and pound to earn a comfortable decision from the judges.
Peng is also a highly-regarded grappler, thanks to his 56-4 record as a wrestler. He has explosive strength, with his ONE debut showing he is capable of rag-dolling opponents across the cage.
Shooting through Rahardian’s defense and planting him on his back would be an obvious route to success, but his last appearance also showed he has the power to make an impact on the feet.
If he can use his defensive grappling to stay standing, he could unleash punching power the likes of which Rahardian has not seen before, which he can use to earn favor from the judges or get the knockout.
The Spoils Of Victory
Rahardian has already established himself as a star in Indonesia. Now, he needs to prove he is one of the world’s leading strawweights.
A second victory in his new weight class – especially if it comes via stoppage – would be the perfect platform to launch him towards more high-profile match-ups against his elite contemporaries.
Conversely, if Peng can take out a man with seven ONE wins and find a way to finish Rahardian, a man who is yet to be knocked out or submitted in his career, he would undoubtedly rocket up the ranks.