Indonesian wrestling champion and rising mixed martial arts star, “Dynamite” Eko Roni Saputra, is one of the top talents in the ONE Championship flyweight division. He’s constantly hard at work, honing his skills in order to achieve his dreams.
At the same time, Saputra is also a huge fan of the sport. The Singapore-based Indonesian fighter will have his eyes glued to the television screen, as will the rest of the world, when ONE Championship returns to American prime time with “ONE on TNT I.”
“ONE on TNT I” is scheduled to broadcast live next Wednesday, April 7 (Thursday, April 8 in Asia).
The stacked card will feature a main event showdown between ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, and 12-time UFC World Champion Demetrious Johnson who challenges reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.
Also on the card is the return of former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez who faces #2-ranked lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus in the co-main event, as well as an appearance from ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Saputra is excited to witness all the festivities.
“This is going to be a big event, for sure, especially during this pandemic which has made it difficult for any entertainment event, given the varying restrictions. I’m just happy that as athletes, we have the platform, and we can perform,” Saputra told ONE Championship.
“There are a lot of world champions fighting in this event, a lot of big names. It’s one of the biggest martial arts events in recent memory. A lot of MMA fans around the world are excited for it. I know I am.”
An avid student of the game, Saputra transitioned from wrestling to mixed martial arts in 2019. Since then, he’s embarked on a stellar 4-1 run, featuring a handful of highlight reel finishes.
Saputra has studied the bouts on “ONE on TNT I” carefully, and has come up with a few predictions, beginning with the main event showdown between Johnson and Moraes.
“First of all, a terrific main event. I’m definitely excited for it. I think Demetrious Johnson definitely has the edge, because he has more experience at the highest level, and he’s such a mature fighter. Rarely makes mistakes, still very aggressive and very technical. He’s just a complete fighter,” said Saputra.
As for the co-main event between Alvarez and Lapicus, Saputra says fans may be shocked at the result.
“I’m going against the grain in the co-main event. I actually think Iuri Lapicus is going to win this fight. Iuri has a very strong striking game, and is really good at grappling. He’s a well-rounded fighter,” said Saputra.
“Don’t get me wrong, Eddie Alvarez is also a tremendous fighter, and he has those years of experience at the highest level of MMA going for him. It’s going to be a massive fight, definitely.”
Lastly, Saputra is interested in how Rodtang can use a global platform to showcase the very best of Muay Thai.
“I’m excited for Rodtang. This is a great opportunity for him. He’s such an amazing, strong fighter, and super exciting. I love his boxing. He has very strong punches and, of course, any fight he’s in is going to be exciting,” said Saputra.
“No matter who he’s fighting against, or whoever they put in front of him, Rodtang comes to fight. And that’s what you have to love about him.”
The “ONE on TNT” series will air every Wednesday in the United States from April 7 for four weeks. Each week will include a preliminary card digitally streamed exclusively on the Bleacher Report App and B/R Live from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, followed by three main card fights televised exclusively on TNT in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET. It will be available in Asia via the usual channels.