Dutch-Surinamese striker Sergio “Samurai” Wielzen is ready to return to ONE Championship with a renewed impetus, and use the lessons he learned from his debut to put on an unforgettable performance.
As excited as he could be, “Samurai” expects to put on a show for the fans the second time around.
The first visit didn’t’ go so well, as taking to the cage for the first time in The Home Of Martial Arts was like nothing he’d ever experienced before, despite being a well-traveled world champion.
“The promotion is amazing for sure,” says Wielzen. “The way they treat you is at the highest level, so I was really happy.
“For me, it was a whole different ball game. It was the biggest show I’ve ever been on – and I’ve fought on big shows. I really felt the pressure.”
The man from Amsterdam experienced a baptism of fire in his ONE debut, as he entered into a co-main event bout on one of the most important shows of the year – ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in Singapore in May – for the inaugural ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Championship.
However, he held his own in one of the most exciting contests of the year – in any discipline – and took away some valuable lessons he will use in his next assignment.
“I should have taken more chances. I waited too long to let loose with my punches, but I have learned from it,” Wielzen explains.
He also believes his maiden match-up in the world’s largest martial arts organization will give him an advantage against Rodtang.
The 21-year-old Thai star is a two-time Omnoi Stadium Muay Thai Champion with more than 300 professional contests to his credit, but his upcoming contest at the Jakarta Convention Center will give him a new experience.
Wielzen’s 46-19-2 slate may not match his opponent’s for scale, but the two-time W5 World Champion has maturity on his side, and familiarity with a high-stakes bout in one of Asia’s biggest arenas.
“He’s been in big shows with big crowds in Thailand before, but he hasn’t been at ONE before. It is next-level,” Wielzen adds.
If Wielzen has his sights set on a front-foot battle from the opening bell, then he has an adversary who will surely oblige. “Samurai” knows this, having studied Rodtang’s recent contest against new Evolve signing, Tenshin Nasukawa. It was a back-and-forth battle as both men threw with power throughout the bout in search of a stoppage.
After gleaning every nugget of information he could from that bout, the Dutch athlete believes that his Thai foe will make for a thrilling contest, and his eagerness to exchange might offer up opportunities for an emphatic finish.
“He’s really aggressive. Not so technical, but he pushes forward and tries to lay on the pressure, and he can take shots for sure,” Wielzen says.
“I know that I have more power than [Nasukawa] though, so if I can land the same shots, he won’t be able to stand there and take them, especially in the ONE (4-ounce) gloves.”
The Sityodtong Amsterdam product has serious knockout power, having stopped the likes of Anuwat Kaewsamrit and Ognjen Topic in his storied career.
Wielzen’s renowned finishing power and Rodtang’s relentless march forward could provide explosive results, and that’s exactly what “Samurai” is predicting, with their courageous styles matching up well on paper.
The thousands of fans in Jakarta and millions watching around the world should be in for nine minutes of breakneck action – if the contest lasts that long.
“He has a style I like. He can come forward, and I will find something unexpected to do in that moment – to make an opening and try to put him down. I will not be fighting for points,” Wielzen says.