LIBERIAN standout Jerome S. Paye is all geared up for his three-round flyweight encounter with Indonesian prospect Stefer Rahardian on the undercard of ONE: Quest for Power in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday.
Paye eyes to bounce back from losing his ONE Championship debut via unanimous decision against China’s Li Hao Jie in February 2016, looking to showcase his improved ground game and his array of striking combinations against Rahardian on hostile ground.
“I am very excited for my upcoming fight. I really want to show the fans here in Asia what I am truly capable of,” Paye said of his marquee match-up against Rahardian.
Coming off a decision setback nearly a year ago, Paye admitted that he is so eager to place himself on the winning track and claim his first win in Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
“For every good fighter, it’s their big dream to get a win in an international MMA organization like ONE Championship. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that chance in my last fight. Now, I have to redeem myself in front of the whole world. That’s why I am so eager to get this win,” he stated.
Aside from his goal to have his hand raised in his second ONE Championship outing, the 39-year-old Liberian is out to make a name for himself and his country.
Liberia is heavily engrossed with football due to the popularity of George Weah, who is the only African to be named FIFA World Player of the Year and the nation’s most famous athlete.
Paye believes that MMA could find a foothold in Liberian sports in the future as it has the potential to grow in the country.
“It’s innate for every African to be athletic. If only Liberians can channel that to MMA, I think we will be successful in this sport. Football is a household name in my country. With the same amount of support, MMA can grow,” he shared.
Paye stressed that he is proud to represent Liberia on a global stage like ONE Championship and aims to bring his country a much-desired fame through MMA.
“It’s truly a privilege to represent Liberia in ONE Championship. Not all gets that opportunity. It’s also a great platform for fans around the world to know a little more about Liberia,” he pointed out.
Getting the victory would not only cement his place in the sport’s international scene, but it would also go a long way in spreading awareness about Liberia in the fast-expanding world of MMA.
“I want to put Liberia on the MMA map because it’s my desire to open the doors of opportunity for my countrymen. Liberians have a potential in MMA. It’s a step-by-step process. Getting the win is just the first of it,” he ended.