‘I’ll Overpower Him’ – Adrian Mattheis Says Youth Will Topple Experience Against ‘Idol’ Alex Silva

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ONE: LIGHTS OUT will be a landmark moment in Adrian Mattheis’ career, as the Indonesian star will meet one of the organization’s most iconic athletes.

“Papua Badboy” is set to face former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva on the main card this Friday, 11 March, in a matchup that shows just how far he’s come in his professional MMA career.

When Mattheis was still plying his trade on the local circuit, he witnessed “Little Rock” compete on the global stage.

He was inspired by the Brazilian’s remarkable BJJ skills and determination – and he was motivated to aim for the top. 

Mattheis told ONE Championship:

“Back when I was in university, I watched Silva’s fights in ONE. I had [started my MMA career], but I had yet to make it into ONE. I was competing in the nationals and regionals at that time. I first saw him when there was a local event. I was with coach Zuli [Silawanto], and from there, I dreamed of entering ONE and facing him. That was back in 2016.”

By August 2016, Mattheis had earned his own contract with ONE Championship, and he’s been a mainstay ever since, amassing nine victories with eight stoppages – a strawweight division record. 

Now, the 28-year will face one of the men who pushed him to succeed, and he has a chance to reach new heights by taking out the current #5-ranked contender.

Mattheis said:

“I’ve been keeping myself primed for this day when I finally get to match up with my idol. He is a former World Champion, and to this day, he’s still one of the best grapplers in the promotion.

“I have always had the mindset of doing my best. Both Silva and I are doing our best in practice, and I will do my maximum, so when the time comes, and should I get the chance, I’ll deliver Silva his loss.”

Adrian Mattheis Plans To Exploit Alex Silva’s Age

While Adrian Mattheis looks up to Alex Silva, that doesn’t mean he’ll back down when they square off at ONE: LIGHTS OUT.

He’s closely followed the 39-year-old’s storied career, and he believes that youth will ultimately make the difference in their battle.

The Indonesian said:

“I think there is one key to defeating Silva, and that is we compete in strength. I’ve been studying all his matches and thought about it a lot. Should he fail to take me down in the first round, I’ll make him pay in the second and third. Looking at our age, even though he’s a lot more experienced, I’m the younger man, and I’ll overpower him in a battle of strength.”

Mattheis is well-aware that Silva owns an almost unrivaled skill set on the ground. After all, the former BJJ World Champion has recorded the most submission wins in the history of ONE’s strawweight MMA division (6).

However, “Papua Badboy” has continued to add more tools on the feet, along with more ways to defend against Silva’s wrestling and ground threat. 

In this training camp, the Indonesian has worked alongside elite boxer James Mokoginta to level up his punching arsenal, and he’s confident that he’ll find a way to win – entering the strawweight division’s upper echelon in the process.

Mattheis added: 

“[I can’t tell you my game plan], but I can tell you my aim, which is obvious – I want to brawl with him. I will try to keep the fight standing and keep on trading. I want to keep it on the feet to be able to keep my distance.

“There’s an uppercut to the jaw that I want to use. There’s also hooks and uppercuts to the body. Lots of body shots. Silva likes to move in close, and once he’s close enough I’ll blow him away with a body shot or a knee.”

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