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Niko Soe's return comes during ONE: Roots Of Honor

On Friday (April 12), Singapore’s Niko Soe will make his return to mixed martial arts competition after more than two years away from the sport.

Since his last appearance, ONE Championship has grown exponentially.

The promotion will hold a record-setting 45 events this year, it has extended its global reach to 2.6 billion potential viewers, and it has added to its world-class roster.

Also, in the flyweight division where Soe competes, one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the world, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, made his way to The Home Of Martial Arts.

Johnson, who is a12-time Flyweight World Champion, has long been respected for his elite skills, his passion, and his etiquette.

“He respects his opponents,” Soe explained.

“I’ve seen him fight where he’s at a disadvantage, but got back up to win the round. He just keeps winning.

“Sometimes you have to go through hardship, also. Sometimes (he gets) beaten up as well, but he gets back up again and gets stronger. I respect that a lot, also.”

There is another thing the 26-year-old admires about “Mighty Mouse.”

“He doesn’t talk crap,” the rising star added. “I also don’t see the point of talking crap – it’s such a waste of energy.”

The Singaporean flyweight started his mixed martial arts career quite uniquely, as he jumped straight into training multiple disciplines instead of shifting from a singular focus.

Because of that, he admired Johnson, as the American wrestling sensation has seamlessly added a beautiful striking game to his grappling-based repertoire. His skill set truly embodies mixed martial arts at its finest.

Like “Mighty Mouse,” he wants to show that he can’t be labeled as a striker or a grappler.

“His hard work and his passion are really inspiring. Also, [his desire] to get better,” Soe said.

“I can’t say that I fight like him, nor does he fight like me – we’re two different fighters. It’s good to pick up one or two good things from him as well.”

At ONE: Roots Of Honor, Soe will welcome another new addition to the ever-expanding roster as he takes on Eko Roni Saputra inside the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

The multiple-time Indonesian National Wrestling Champion represented his country in the Asian Games before joining the Evolve Fight Team last October.

Saputra will be making his professional mixed martial arts debut, so the returning Singaporean doesn’t know what to expect.

However, because of his diverse background, Soe will be ready for anything.

“I’m a well-rounded fighter,” he said. “I can do ground [fighting], striking, or wrestling, so wherever you put me at, I think I’ll be ok."