Jeka Saragih is officially set to make his debut in the UFC in November. His opponent will be Jesse Butler, an American fighter.
The confirmation was shared on Mola’s Instagram account, the official broadcaster of UFC in Indonesia. Jeka will face off against Butler at the UFC Apex on November 18.
The Jeka vs. Butler bout will serve as an additional match in UFC Fight Night 232, which features the main event between Brendan Allen and Paul Craig.
Historic Moment for Indonesian MMA
Jeka Saragih will become the first Indonesian MMA athlete to make it to the UFC. He achieved this through the Road To UFC program.
After defeating Won Bin Ki from South Korea in the semifinals, Jeka Saragih faced a loss against Anshul Jubli in the final of Road To UFC. Nevertheless, his attractive performance earned him a contract to compete in the UFC.
In the UFC, Jeka will compete in the featherweight division (145 pounds). This marks a shift from his previous lightweight division.
Reasons for the Weight Class Change
The decision to change weight classes was made in consultation with his team. Jeka believes that this change will be advantageous for various reasons, including differences in body posture and reach.
“Maybe this change of weight class was a decision made together with the team. But one thing for sure, this weight class change is very beneficial. It can be said that in terms of body posture and reach, there are many advantages,” Jeka explained during a virtual interview with several other Indonesian media outlets some time ago.
“However, there is a downside, which is that I have to go on an extra diet. Since I am dropping a lot of weight, the diet has to be quite long. It could be around 15-20 kilograms.”
“But that’s part of the struggle; if you want to be a champion, you have to fight for it,” Jeka Saragih concluded.
Jeka Saragih’s upcoming UFC debut in November against American fighter Jesse Butler marks a historic moment for Indonesian MMA. Jeka’s journey to the UFC through the Road To UFC program showcases his determination and skills. His decision to change weight classes is seen as a strategic move, and fans are eagerly awaiting his debut in the featherweight division.