Aziz “The Krauser” Calim looked every bit of his age as he suffered a quick loss to Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada at ONE: Dreams of Gold on August 16.
Calim suffered a first-round submission loss by rear-naked choke just 69 seconds into his return to the ONE Championship Circle at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 21-year-old looked vulnerable on the ground as Sawada overwhelmed the Filipino-Indonesian from the opening bell, before taking his back and securing the quick submission victory.
“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.”
There was simply no excuses for Calim on that night.
The Saudi-born Calim admitted that the ONE Warrior Series alumnus was simply too much for him on the ground.
Though he expected Sawada to maximize his strengths, Calim said that he was still surprised by how good his opponent is on the ground.
“Heading into this fight, I know that he’ll 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.”
That doesn’t mean that he is just going to roll over and sulk in the loss. The loss only made Calim more determined to work on his holes as he works his way around The Home Of Martial Arts.
At age 21, Calim knows that he has plenty of time to work on it as he plans for a fruitful career with the largest martial arts organization in the world.
“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 even more motivated now to be better, especially on the ground after my performance last Friday. With the high-level of competition at the moment, I need to be super prepared and skilled – whether it’s on the striking department or the ground,” he added.
Now it is back to the drawing board, and Calim plans to waste no time in getting better.
“I’m planning to go back to the gym as soon as possible, that’s how motivated I am to improve my game.”
Catch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: Immortal Triumph, on September 6 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.
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