Riski “King Kong” Umar is having an incredible start to 2018.
The 25-year-old Indonesian had a highly entertaining victory back in January, gained some valuable experience at the ONE Elite Retreat, and now he is training alongside some of his closest friends at Bali MMA in preparation of his forthcoming match.
On Friday, 9 March, Umar will square off against Cambodia’s Khon Sichan in a catch weight bout at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY. The event broadcasts live from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and “King Kong” is riding a wave of confidence.
“I know he is good at striking,” Umar says of his opponent.
“He has good knees, kicks, and elbows, but I also hear that his ground game is not good. I think my boxing and ground game is better than his, and I think the good thing for me is I am faster.”
Umar displayed his dynamic Muay Thai striking and ground awareness in his bouts to date, but he proved against Egi Rotzen at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES in January that his explosive striking can stop even the toughest of boxers.
It was an exciting clash between warriors with different striking backgrounds, but “King Kong” effectively utilized his punches, kicks, and knees to overwhelm the Indonesian boxing champion.
A sharp knee to the midsection dropped Rotzen, and then Umar effortlessly jumped into full mount and swarmed with punches until the referee stopped the bout at the 4:20 mark of the opening round.
Everything went according to plan. Well, almost.
“It was a crazy match. I thought that he was going to go easy in round one, but then he just came in there and tried to KO me,” Umar says with a chuckle.
“My game plan was to start with the striking game, and when he gets a little bit tired, then I would take him down and finish him on the ground. I feel like I excited [fans] with my performance.”
Now, he is looking for a repeat performance in his bout against Sichan. In addition to his 29-9-3 Kun Khmer record, the 30-year-old Cambodian has experienced success inside the cage, as he captured the KWC 1 Flyweight Tournament Championship.
Umar is not taking the Cambodian lightly by any means, and he has spent the past several weeks preparing at Bali MMA alongside his teammates Gianni Subba and “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman, who also compete at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY against Reece McLaren and Rin Saroth, respectively.
By training together, it has elevated the intensity at the Indonesian facility. A high energy permeates throughout the gym, and each warrior is leaning on one another for support.
Umar, especially, is inspired by his other two teammates, and believes that will be a factor in the trio capturing victory this coming Friday.
“It helps me because I feel more motivated,” he offers.
“Also, both of them have a lot of experience, so it is good for me to learn from them. I envision that all three of us will win at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY.”