Jakarta. With the ambition to reinsert his name into the winner's column, Indonesian standout "The Terminator" Sunoto (5-3) chose not to wallow over his setback last December, as he jumps right back into action by squaring off with hard-hitting Cambodian kickboxer Chan Heng (8-3).
The two bantamweight fighters are set to face each other on the undercard of ONE: Quest for Power, which will take place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan on Jan. 14.
Although he fell short against Team Lakay representative Edward Kelly in his previous fight, the 31-year-old Indonesian submission specialist's winning mindset remains unscathed as he seeks to have his hand raised in triumph again.
"I'm very determined to win every fight that I am in. But fighting again after a tough loss makes me even more motivated to perform well in the fight. I am super excited for this fight," he said in a press release.
Sunoto revealed that he had no time to dwell on what happened in the bout against Kelly. Instead, he headed back to the drawing board to figure out what was lacking in his overall game.
According to Sunoto, he is putting his entire focus on his marquee matchup with Heng as "The Terminator" believes he is in a must-win situation.
"Basically, I went back to the gym after the Edward Kelly fight. I didn't take any time off. For this fight, I am leaving everything, including my coaching job to focus on preparing myself for the fight. I really want to win this fight," Sunoto said.
He knows that he has his hands full against Heng. The 34-year-old Cambodian combatant might be an exceptional Khun Khmer practitioner, but he is a well-rounded mixed martial artist as he holds six submission wins.
"I expect him to come out with guns blazing. I also expect him that he will do his best. He has a good ground game. Meanwhile, his standup arsenal is outstanding as well. It's a tough challenge, but I am welcoming it with open arms," he shared.
To keep up with his cage counterpart's superb ground game, Sunoto bared that he has put more emphasis on his finishing touches in the grappling aspect.
"I want to improve my finishing skills when it comes to the ground game. I came from a traditional Jiu-jitsu background, where we don't do much submission. My original discipline is more about pinning and positions. This is mixed martial arts, that's why I want to improve my fight-finishing skills on the mat," he said.
Even if the two highly decorated bantamweight competitors are evenly matched for their three-round encounter, Sunoto is convinced that he is a step ahead of Heng in both the striking and grappling departments.
"I believe that I have the advantage in the wrestling department and on the ground. When it comes to striking, I believe that I have a more solid technique," he pointed out.
Although Sunoto had the option to take time off from active competition, he admitted that fighting in his hometown was an offer that he could not refuse.
"This will be my third ONE Championship outing in Jakarta. I have a 5-3 standing as a pro, but my record is 4-0 when fighting in Indonesia. I do believe that the Indonesian crowd gives me extra power and motivation when it comes to fighting in front of my home crowd," he said.