When Jeka Saragih says that no-one believed he would win at UFC Vegas 82 the Indonesian really means it. It is not just the bookmakers who had him down as likely to lose against Lucas Alexander.

At the post fight press conference Saragih was asked if he was aware of the odds. Not only did he know exactly what they were he was also aware that even the people closest to him expected Alexander to win,,

“Of course I knew about that (the odds). All of my friends in the village and my family too, they didn’t believe I could win.”


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Winning bet

Anyone who bet on Saragih would have roughly quadrupled their money. It was a lucrative night for the fighter too who picked up a $50,000 USD performance bonus.

It represented a real turnaround for Saragih who came in for a lot of criticism after his loss to Anshul Jubli in the Road to UFC lightweight final,

“After my last loss I got criticized by the fans. I’m the first Indonesian fighter in the UFC but they talked bad things about me. I used that as motivation to get the win.”


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Long camp

Saragih believes that a series of bad results on the Road to UFC events had given Indonesian fighters an inferiority complex,

“In the last Road to UFC all of the Indonesian fighters lost so people thought nobody from Indonesia could win in the UFC.”

The 28 year old was clearly determined to prove everyone wrong. Alexander might have only accepted the fight at late notice but the Indonesian had been preparing for a long time,

“I’m happy about my win, it was a long journey for me. I did a long training camp, almost five months. I left all my family and friends in the village and I really missed them.”


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Doubts and criticism

Saragih’s win at UFC Vegas 82 will have fans in Indonesia completely reassessing what local fighters might be capable of. It sounds like he needs a break after his epic training camp and is not in a hurry to compete again.

Saragih also made it clear he has no interest in rematching Jubli who is coming off a defeat at UFC 294. He clearly used the doubt and criticism to fuel him ahead of his fight last weekend.

No-one is going to have a bad word to say about Saragih after this win. He might have to look elsewhere for inspiration ahead of his next fight but the 28 year old probably won’t have to look too far,

“All of the obstacles in my life motivate me.”

It sounds like no-one believes in Saragih before UFC Vegas 82. After his emphatic KO win last weekend no-one will be doubting the Indonesian featherweight.