‘It’s Time To Be Among The Top Ranks’ – Eko Roni Saputra Aiming For Adriano Moraes, Flyweight Elite In 2023
“Dynamite” Eko Roni Saputra continued his incredible run of form in 2022, and it’s given him the confidence to attack the flyweight elite in the coming year.
The Indonesian sensation extended his unbeaten run to seven consecutive wins with back-to-back finishes over Chan Rothana and Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex, and he believes he has silenced a lot of critics along the way.
But Saputra hasn’t just been getting past his rivals. He has been demolishing them, with all of his victories coming in the first round.
The Evolve MMA representative believes this is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication he has put into his craft.
“2022 has been fruitful for me. I see this year as a massive accomplishment. There are people who underestimated me every time I fought, like when I faced Chan [Rothana] and Yodkaikaew [Fairtex]. They had always considered me as a nobody.
“After all the time, discipline, hard work, and hard training, these are all my accomplishments for 2022. For me, personally, 2022 was good to close the chapter on [fighting] the lower ranks. Now, it’s time to be among the top ranks.”
Saputra is rightly confident given his momentum, and he has some big ambitions for the coming year.
After blasting through every challenge he has faced since suffering his only career blemish in his MMA debut back in April 2019, the Indonesian rising star wants to prove that he belongs among the flyweight division’s top contenders.
However, Saputra knows it won’t come without continued evolution. It will take even more effort, but he’s ready to keep building toward his goals.
“I see bright lights in 2023. Surely to reach that light, it will take [time], and I want to be in the top-five rankings first. Having said that, I don’t want to go over my head. I want to do it step by step, and I don’t want to think that I am this great guy who can do anything. I must conquer what is ahead of me and not [think] too far ahead. Simply said, I must win every single bout.”
Eko Roni Saputra Wants Fight With Former World Champion After Feeling Disrespected
Indonesian rising star Eko Roni Saputra has not been one to insert himself into feuds with his flyweight peers, but there is one man he’d like to meet inside the Circle in 2023.
The 31-year-old has been keeping his head down and going about his business, but an offhand comment from a former ONE Flyweight World Champion has rattled his cage, and now he feels like there is a score to settle.
“My wife actually told me not to [say this publicly] yet because I am a bit furious with a statement this person made when I won against Liu Peng Shuai. He said that my opponent was very easy to beat, but he erased the comment [on social media]. It is [Adriano] Moraes. That is why, after my next fight, I want to call him out.
“I told my wife, ‘I want this person to face me because he underestimated me.’ It doesn’t mean that I want to fast-track myself to the top, no. I just want to face the person who undermined me.”
Moraes has a trilogy bout with reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson booked for ONE on Prime Video 10 on May 5, 2023, but Saputra hopes he can earn another victory in the meantime and use that platform to set up a showdown with the Brazilian.
The Indonesian standout doesn’t want to jump the queue, but he thinks he has the tools necessary to deal with “Mikinho” should they step into the Circle next year.
“Let everyone else say that I have a great ambition to go against Moraes, but I am confident. I will put him to sleep as soon as possible. I mean, he erased his comment. If he had the guts, he shouldn’t have erased the comment. If he wanted to say that, then let it be.
“Of course, I am totally fired up. I will call him out [after my next fight] because there is still something unsettled here.”