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‘Rushed’ Saroth close to victory in Jakarta

Cambodian mixed martial artist Rin Saroth (top) grapples with Indonesia’s Sunoto in Jakarta on Saturday. Photo supplied/ONE
Cambodian mixed martial artist Rin Saroth (top) grapples with Indonesia’s Sunoto in Jakarta on Saturday. Photo supplied/ONE

‘Rushed’ Saroth close to victory in Jakarta

Cambodian mixed martial artist Rin Saroth blamed rushed training for his defeat in his first bout on foreign soil after he was forced to tap out for a submission by home fighter “The Terminator” Sunoto at ONE: Kings of Courage in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday.

Saroth defeated compatriot Mission Ali on his ONE debut in December 2015 at ONE: Kingdom of Khmer, winning by first-round armbar submission, and was called in as a replacement just two weeks before the Jakarta event after an injury to the scheduled fighter.

However, in the bantamweight fight at the Jakarta Convention Center, Saroth almost won his second ONE bout, surprising Sunoto with an inverted triangle choke after being slammed to the ground.

Sunoto tried to dominate his Cambodian opponent from the start with his wrestling and grappling skills, but Saroth avoided all traps and fought back with a newly honed grappling style, and nearly pulled off an impressive win in the first round before the home favourite escaped.

But two minutes into the second round, Sunoto took Saroth to the mat before forcing him to tap out with an Americana lock.

After the fight, the 24-year-old Cambodian Top Team fighter told The Post at the Jakarta Convention Center: “He nearly lost the fight because of my improved grappling skills taught by my coach.

“It is a big regret that I missed the chance for victory because my fitness was not better than his. He showed a strong spirit because he fought in his home.”

Saroth’s trainer Hun Chanreach did not blame his fighter as he had only two weeks to prepare for the fight after replacing compatriot Thai Rithy who suffered an injury in training.

Chanreach said: “We have no regrets but we have to train harder to get full to fitness because Saroth still has six fights to come in ONE events.”

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