MMA: Saputra sees Kingad bout as stepping stone


Posted at Jan 26 2023 11:22 PM

Eko Roni Saputra has nothing bad to say about Danny “The King” Kingad entering their crucial flyweight bout this February, but he is taking aim at number 1-ranked flyweight Adriano Moraes. 

Saputra will look to build upon his 7-fight winning streak when he meets the Filipino in a three-round MMA fight at ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on February 25 inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand. 

"This time, my opponent is quite calm, not boasting around. Nonetheless, I want to give some surprises, but I can’t say anything now,” Saputra said. 

“What can be guaranteed is that I [will] lean more on striking. For now, [my coach and I] are still keeping our game plan secret. One thing though, this is a must-watch fight, as it will trigger another new, huge explosion!” 

Aside from the possibility of breaking into the top 5 by beating the third-ranked Kingad, the Indonesian is motivated to win this match because he believes he’ll be one step closer to the guy he wants to face the most – former ONE flyweight champion Moraes. 

Saputra bared that he wants the Brazilian grappling wizard next should he beat Kingad, as he felt slighted after reading Moraes’ now-deleted comments about him following his win over Liu Peng Shuai.

“After my next fight, I want to call him out. The next person I am calling out is him. Because he underestimated me,” he said. 

“The reason why my wife told me not to open this was because the comment had been deleted. But, since this is the person who underestimated me, I want to prove myself to him, I will make him sleep as fast as I can.” 

At the end of the day, Saputra just wants respect for his name, and he plans to get it by beating one of the division’s staples in Kingad. 

“I do not want to be too ambitious, I don’t want to be overconfident, but I am training and preparing for my next [fights]. Because, if I say, ‘I am totally confident that I will beat him,’ it is a form of overconfidence,” he said. 

“I can only execute my own game, and I do want to play more in striking. But if I see that he’s easy enough to be taken down, I'll get that takedown. I will follow wherever the game takes me. 

“I will not know what happens [on] the battlefield. If he is weak against takedowns, why should we play for too long, right? If it’s hard to take him down, then we’ll do striking, right?”