News

Adrian Mattheis Wants Rematch To Prove He Is Indonesia’s Best

Apr 29, 2020

Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis’ biggest motivation when he returns to the Circle is to prove that he is Indonesia’s leading mixed martial artist.

Like most of his peers, the Tigershark Fighting Academy representative has had to adapt his training outside of the gym due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the strawweight knows that if he can stay in shape, he will be ready to put his plan into action as soon as ONE Championship resumes its 2020 calendar of events.

The first step of his plan involves a familiar foe.

“Coach Zuli [Silawanto] encourages us to train individually amid the ongoing situation, so I try to keep on training to maintain my condition,” Mattheis explains.

“When everything starts to recover, I want to face kak Stefer [Rahardian] again this year. He is a senior fighter in Indonesia, and I need to overcome him to step up.”

The pair first met at ONE: DAWN OF VALOR in Jakarta last October.

“Papua Badboy” showed brief glimpses of his powerful striking, but ultimately, it was Rahardian’s grappling ability that dictated the pace of the contest.



Mattheis knows exactly where things went wrong.

During his training camp, he was also preparing for the prestigious Southeast Asian Games in Manila, Philippines — where he won a bronze medal in kickboxing — and believes that he was not as well-equipped as he could have been to face his rival’s grappling threat.

“The last time we fought, I was on a tight schedule to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games,” he confesses.

“In my training camp, my focus was on kickboxing. Before the match, I jokingly told him to go all-out on a striking battle – no grappling, no clinching, just striking — but it was just a joke.

“I respect him because he is my senior and I admitted that he was a better fighter at that time. But if we ever meet again, I believe the result will be different.”

The 26-year-old Jakarta resident lost that match-up, but he gained some confidence from his ability to hang with one of Indonesia’s leading submission specialists for three rounds.

Though he was under threat from his compatriot’s ground offense, Mattheis stayed composed and battled until the very end, much to the delight of the local fans inside the Istora Senayan.

“I think it was a razor-thin win, and although I lost the match, I won many people’s hearts,” he offers.

“Many people were cheering for me. I managed to entertain. But it’s all good, it only meant I needed to improve. I believe that good things will come eventually. Just give it time.”

Indonesian martial artist Adrian Mattheis throws a knee

If Mattheis can mark himself as his nation’s number one strawweight, then he can begin his climb to the top of the global rankings.

Rahardian’s current spot is his proposed starting point, but “Papua Badboy” is looking even further forward and setting his sights on the upper echelon of the division.

Kak Stefer is probably the best in Indonesia currently, so if I want to step up and face the world’s best, I have to prove it against him first. After that, I need to stay on the winning track,” he continues.

“I am aiming for a World Title fight, and I hope it is sooner than later. I need to face someone who can improve my rank and test whether I deserve to face the World Champion.

“I think Alex Silva is the perfect opponent because he has earned a World Title fight recently, and he has an excellent ground game. If I lose, it means I have to train harder.”

Mattheis wants to prove he is a completely different athlete to the one who had mixed fortunes just a few years ago.

He has seven wins in his last nine bouts, and has consistently showcased his evolution in The Home Of Martial Arts.

Now, he feels like he can challenge the division’s elite once again, but with even more success on his climb towards the top.

“I think I am mentally more ready now to face the division’s best,” he states.

“I have faced the likes of Dejdamrong [Sor Amnuaysirichoke] and Rene Catalan, but it was during my early days in ONE. I think the results would be different now because I am a different fighter now.”

Read more: How Zuli Silawanto Drove Adrian Mattheis To Break ONE Records