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Calim promises to bounce back after coming up short in Bangkok

Filipino-Indonesian standout Aziz “The Krauser” Calim will have to make some major adjustments after collecting his second loss in ONE Championship.

Calim suffered a first-round submission loss to Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada of Japan, losing by rear-naked choke in the preliminaries of ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD on 16 August at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 21-year-old prepared for months as he looked to make it two in a row following an impressive submission victory over Adi Paryanto of Indonesia at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY last January.

But the Saudi-born Han Academy product admitted that he failed to execute his game plan last Friday and let his Japanese counterpart play his game.

"The game plan was to keep the fight on the feet and make it a striking battle where I know I had an advantage, but unfortunately the match went to the ground,” Calim shared.

“I was caught in a rear-naked choke. He was in mount and I was planning to escape but my defense had holes. That’s why he was able to take my neck and execute the choke.”

For Calim, he expected Sawada to be a handful, as the 23-year-old Japanese came into the match with tons of momentum.

Sawada made a name for himself with two consecutive first-round submission victories in ONE Warrior Series and it was something that Calim expected. But he was still surprised with his opponent’s grappling prowess.

“Heading into this fight, I knew that he’d maximize his strengths against me,” Calim said.

“But on that night, that’s where I saw that he was not just a strong wrestler, he also had great technique with his traps.”

Now back to the drawing board. Calim promises to be better, believing that better days are definitely ahead of him, especially since he is just 21 years old.

“Of course losing is never a good feeling, but if you look at the bright side this match taught me many things, particularly on my skillset as an athlete. It will be a huge help as I go on with my career,” Calim said.

“I’m planning to go back to the gym as soon as possible, that’s how motivated I am at the moment to improve my game.”

Completely healthy at the moment, “The Krauser” hopes to bounce back soon, and he already has a date in mind.

ONE Championship returns to Manila on 13 November for their final Philippines event for the year with ONE: MASTERS OF FATE.

It is a perfect opportunity for Calim to be exposed to his Filipino roots while having the chance to bounce back at the same time.

“There’s still one event in Manila this November, and I hope to be part of that card,” Calim said.

“I have Filipino blood, but I’ve never been to the Philippines, so that will be the best welcome party for me if my wish will be granted.”

Catch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It will be the organization’s first-ever all-Super Series event. It will be aired live on the ONE Super App.

Topics: Aziz “The Krauser” Calim , ONE Championship , Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada , ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD
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