Aziz “The Krauser” Calim has already shown the courage to accept a tough challenge on late notice, but he also believes his skills will propel him to victory.
The Indonesian star will face “The Indian Notorious” Roshan Mainam in a flyweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE: FISTS OF FURY III after his teammate — Abro “The Black Komodo” Fernandes — ran into visa issues just days before flying out to Singapore.
Rather than letting the Indian go without a fight, Calim offered himself as a replacement to compete at the show, which will air on Friday, 19 March.
“Yes, I am stepping forward to replace Abro and going to face Roshan Mainam,” he says of their matchup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“We haven’t fully completed the game plan because I am the replacement fighter and this is very short notice. However, I will go heavy on the striking like I always do.”
Despite the timing, Calim will be well-prepared for this contest. “The Krauser” had been a key training partner for “The Black Komodo” during the latter’s camp, which means he was learning the Indian wrestler’s style.
Plus, after competing at strawweight in his previous ONE contests, the Indonesian Karate Champion was putting on weight to bolster his strength, so he felt comfortable moving up a division to compete against Mainam.
“I was chosen due to my physical readiness. I also helped Abro in his preparation ahead of this Roshan bout, so I will use what I had learned from his drills in my fight,” Calim says.
“Moreover, I was also adding weight to get to 60 kilograms, so I was the best option at the time.”
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While Calim has the obvious benefit of being around during Fernandes’ training camp, Mainam will enter this contest without much time spent preparing for “The Krauser.”
It’s a factor that could certainly give the Indonesian an edge, and he’s confident that he made the most of it.
“Mostly, I pushed myself hard on the striking and discussed more on the strategy, while also doing some drills on my ground defense to anticipate Roshan’s movements,” Calim says of his pre-fight work.
When it comes to the styles in this matchup, there’s no doubt that Mainam possesses world-class wrestling and a rapidly improving submission game.
However, “The Krauser” believes there are areas he can expose in the Evolve athlete’s game. The Indian is still relatively fresh to the world of striking, so the experienced karate stylist will aim to take advantage in Singapore.
“I see that he’s lacking in striking. I believe that I have the better abilities in terms of stand-up fighting than what he has at the moment,” Calim says.
“I am concerned about his ground and wrestling skills. However, I still think that with the drills I took [in the training camp] to assist Abro, I feel that I can deal with his ground game.”
Calim also believes that endurance will be a key factor.
Mainam has only gone the distance once in his professional career – with most of his matches ending in the opening frame – so the Solo native is ready to push hard and look to empty his rival’s gas tank.
“I will definitely use my striking prowess and will try to stall time and lure him into exhaustion,” Calim says.
“[Mainam] has a big but short posture. Those kinds of people are often easily exhausted. My plan is to maintain the distance with my striking up to round two, where he will be a bit more tired to fight.”
From a broader perspective, this is a big opportunity for Calim to harness some of the shine from a star who’s been rising on the global stage.
The Indonesian is confident that he can do just that by scoring a career-best victory and making his nation proud on the biggest martial arts platform in the world.
“I will do my best to represent Indonesia in this bout. I will show different skills, while also showing that I have become sharper in my techniques,” Calim says.
“I want to use my boxing [to win by] KO.”