Indonesia’s Stefer Rahardian and Filipino favorite Eugene Toquero put on a Fight of the Night-caliber performance at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY on Friday, 21 April.
In the end, it was Rahardian who spoiled his frustrated rival’s homecoming at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila and earned the unanimous decision victory.
In the opening round, Toquero managed to execute a beautiful trip on Rahardian, but the ONE Indonesia Flyweight Tournament Champion quickly gained top position and transitioned to side control.
Rahardian, who splits his time at Bali MMA and Jakarta MMA, remained active on the ground, as he continuously looked to advance his position while also throwing punches. The flurry did not intimidate Toquero, however, as he did a good job avoiding significant damage.
With two minutes remaining in the first stanza, both fighters proceeded to scramble for dominant position, but Rahardian’s dedication to his ground game allowed him to control the Filipino’s back. The two fighters continuously traded positions on the mat, but the Indonesian was more effective and efficient with his transitions.
Early in the second, Rahardian was like a juggernaut, and powered-through a strong body kick to take the fight back to the canvas. Much like the first, the majority of the second frame featured the Indonesian’s BJJ dominance. That is, until Toquero ended the round with an abundance of powerful strikes, which certainly intimidated his rival going into the third and final stanza.
In round three, it only took Rahardian — a Carlson Gracie BJJ brown belt — ten seconds to bring the fight back to the mat. Toquero, who looked relatively frustrated to be back in bottom position, utilized elbows to create space, while feeling the pressure of Rahardian on his chest.
The fight remained on the ground, and despite the local hero’s activity with punches and elbows from the bottom, Rahardian’s control was enough to capture the unanimous decision victory.
It became obvious towards the end of the fight that, had both fighters remained on their feet, Toquero would have had the advantage, and could have possibly finished the Indonesian. However, the Indonesian prospect was tactical with his strategy, and kept the fight on the ground, where he is most comfortable.
With the win, Rahardian remains unblemished and pushes his record to 6-0. Toquero drops to 8-5, and is on the longest skid of his career.