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New look, new approach for Adrian Mattheis as he chases contender status

The ‘Papua Badboy’ will sport a fresh look when he returns to action at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR

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ONE Championship

The next time you see Adrian Mattheis in action for ONE Championship, you’ll notice something strikingly different.

The “Papua Badboy” has decided to give himself a new look and is now sporting a mohawk and a new, more aggressive attitude.

“I wanted something different. I wanted to look like a pit bull,” said the 24-year-old.

Mattheis will look to showcase his new approach when he faces Lan Ming Qiang at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR on Friday 20 April in Manila.

The Indonesian star is looking to complete a hat-trick of first-round wins, having finished both of his last two opponents via early rear-naked choke submissions.

And after a tough start to 2017, Mattheis says he’s found his groove, as he gained confidence in his losses to top-calibre opposition – Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Rene Catalan and Kritsada Kongsrichai.

“I do not feel any pressure to win,” he explained.

“I felt pressure against Dejdamrong because he was a World Champion. I lost that match, but it gave me a lot of confidence.”

Matthei will take that confidence into his bout with Lan, a 24-year-old Chinese sanda champion who showed promise in a losing effort on his ONE debut against strawweight contender Joshua Pacio.

But Mattheis’ head coach Zuli Silawanto says the Indonesian will showcase a come-forward, aggressive style that will overwhelm his opponent.

“He is going to stand up, at first. He is not necessarily going to go for the KO, but then [he will] take it to the ground. If he cannot finish it on the ground, then he stands back up again,” he explained.

“A lot of times, athletes get lazy. They just stay on the ground. It is a challenge to stand up, and then do the takedown again.”

Victory will see Mattheis move up the strawweight ranks, where he hopes he’ll get the chance to take on young star Pacio as he bids to prove his worth as a legitimate contender.

“I want a chance to go up against Joshua Pacio,” he said.

“That is my goal for now. Getting to that match would have made all the work leading up to it worthwhile.”

Interview by ONE Championship. Story by Simon Head.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK national media. News Editor: ONE Championship. UFC/MMA Reporter: BBC Three. International MMA Reporter: The Fight Nation. Contributor: MMAjunkie.

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