Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis is more than ready to build upon his two-bout winning streak, and he has a new look to prove it.
The 24-year-old Jakarta, Indonesia resident is sporting a mohawk, and believes his hairstyle represents a change in attitude.
“I wanted something different. I wanted to look like a pit bull,” he says.
Mattheis will have a chance to show off his new look, and some of that newfound aggression, when he goes up against Lan Ming Qiang at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR, live from the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manilla, Philippines, on Friday, 20 April.
“Papua Badboy” has made short work of his previous two opponents, finishing both contests in the first round with his favorite submission hold, the rear-naked choke. He hopes to follow-up those dynamic performances later this month.
This is all a part of Mattheis’ ongoing evolution, after he racked up some tough losses in 2017 to former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, as well as top contenders Rene Catalan and Kritsada Kongsirichai.
The Indonesian chalks those defeats up to nerves, and has since gained an elevated morale, and a higher self-esteem.
“I do not feel any pressure to win,” he says. “I felt pressure against Dejdamrong because he was a World Champion. I lost that match, but it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Mattheis will need that confidence when he goes up against Lan, who poses stylistic challenges.
Lan, a 24-year-old Chinese sanda champion based in Guangxi, China, trains alongside flyweight superstar “The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin at the Jincan Defense Club. Following a successful sanda career, which saw him garner a 16-2 record in the discipline and capture a national championship, he soon found his way to ONE Championship.
The Chinese athlete made his promotional debut in late January. He accepted a bout against Joshua “The Passion” Pacio on two weeks’ short notice, and, despite falling to the Filipino strawweight, Lan displayed enough of his powerful striking to make an impression.
While they may not know what Lan is fully capable of yet, Mattheis’ head coach Zuli “The Shark” Silawanto is pushing his protégé to take his game to the next level.
“He is going to stand up, at first. He is not necessarily going to go for the KO, but then [he will] take it to the ground. If he cannot finish it on the ground, then he stands back up again,” Silawanto explains.
“A lot of times, athletes get lazy. They just stay on the ground. It is a challenge to stand up, and then do the takedown again.”
The game plan may seem familiar, as Mattheis deployed it in his victory over Eddey Kalai back in January at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES.
Silawanto wants him to repeat the feat, and he is so adamant that Mattheis perfects this up-and-down strategy, that he has kept Mattheis motivated by introducing him to his walkout song — “Turun Naik Oles Trus” by a Papuan hip-hop artist.
Aside from being one of Mattheis’ favorite tracks, the “Turun Naik” part translates to “ups and downs,” which is reminder to help him stay focused on the task at hand.
If “Papua Badboy” were to be successful in his upcoming tilt, then he hopes to get an even bigger challenge. As a matter of fact, he has set his sights on a showdown with one of the strawweight division’s top young stars.
“I want a chance to go up against Joshua Pacio,” he says. “That is my goal for now. Getting to that match would have made all the work leading up to it worthwhile.”
However, before that happens, Mattheis needs to defeat Lan in order to move up the divisional ranks.