The historic all-women card of ONE Championship billed as “Empower”, went down tonight inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium where the Strawweight championship was contested by defending champion Xiong Jing Nan and number two contender, Michelle Nicolini. Also featured in the event is the start of the Atomeweight World Grand Prix to determine the next challenger to Angela Lee’s throne.
Dream Debut For Julie Mezabarba
A boxing masterclass and a flawless takedown defense propelled the promotional debutant, Julie Mezabarba to get her maiden ONE Championship victory and took down Mei Yamaguchi in their Atomweight World Grand Prix Alternate bout via unanimous decision. The Brazilian used every inch of her size advantage over the Japanese veteran to fend off all of the takedown attempts and keep the match on the feet.
As a result of not letting Mei take her down the mat, she showcased a fantastic boxing performance and found the money shot through the short uppercut that connected multiple times during the match, thus earning her the win.
Jackie Buntan Is A Problem
The hype surrounding the American Muay Thai athlete, Jackie Buntan is real as she validated it yet again through her superb performance against Daniela Lopez in their Strawweight Muay Thai match. Buntan utilized her speed advantage against Lopez who seemed one step behind her. Although the 24-year old failed to deliver the knockout win, she still showed her power during the match by tagging Lopez with twice in the first and third round.
This is Jackie’s third straight win after her two previous victories over Wondergirl Fairtex last February and Ekaterina Vandaryeva this past April. With another impressive win added to her record, she is knocking on the top 5 rankings in the Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai division.
Anissa Meksen Arrives In Style
Anissa Meksen begins her quest to title contention under the ONE Championship banner as she dismantled Cristina Morales in their Atomweight Kickboxing match through a second-round TKO finish. Meksen lived up to the accolades that she already has after displaying a dominant performance en route to the victory and the perfect debut in the promotion. Anissa will certainly be under the radar to be part of the division’s top 5 and eventually challenge the reigning Atomweight Kickboxing queen, Janet Todd.
And Then There Were Four
In the first quarterfinal match-up of the night, Itsuki Hirata survived a scary knockdown in the third round of her encounter with Alyse Anderson to secure her place in the next round of the tournament by dominating in the clinch and exploited her Judo background to neutralize Anderson throughout the match.
The next athlete that is through in the semifinals of the Grand Prix is Ritu Phogat who scored an upset win over number two ranked Meng Bo by way of unanimous decision. After a rough start in the match which saw her being rocked by Meng’s powerful punches, the Indian star managed to composed herself and used her wrestling background to get the nod from the judges.
Then, in the third bracket, Stamp Fairtex avenged her loss to Alyona Rasshohyna in a close split decision win to advance in the semis. It was an exciting back-and-forth contest between the Thai and the Ukrainian with a number of submission attempts seen and powerful strikes from both fighters but unable to finish.
Wrapping up the semifinalists of the Atomweight Grand Prix is Seo Hee Ham who squeezed out a razor-thin triumph over the number one ranked contender and previously unbeaten, Denice Zamboanga. Despite the clear disadvantage in the clinch and receiving multiple takedowns, the veteran fighter from South Korea landed the more damaging blows to Denice which is enough to push her to the next round.
The “Panda” Continues Her Strawweight Reign
For the sixth time in a row, Xiong Jing Nan has successfully defended her Strawweight title in a dominant fashion by defeating the number 2 contender Michelle Nicolini in their title showdown. From the damaging over right-hand punches to the take-down defense and the explosive scrambles, the “Panda” displayed an immaculate performance to continue her reign as ONE Championship’s most dominant women’s champion. She triumphantly offset the grappling advantage of Nicolini who is a multiple-time BJJ world champion. The burning question now is, who can stop her in this dominant run in the strawweight division?
Full Event Results
- Xiong Jing Nan defeated Michelle Nicolini via unanimous decision in the Strawweight World Championship
- Seo Hee Ham defeated Denice Zamboanga via split decision in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Stamp Fairtex defeated Alyona Rasshohyna via split decision in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Ritu Phogat defeated Meng Bo via unanimous decision in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Ituski Hirata defeated Alyse Anderson via a unanimous decision in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Anissa Meken defeated Cristina Morales via second round TKO in an Atomweight Kickboxing match
- Jackie Buntan defeated Daniela Lopez via unanimous decision in a Strawweight Muay Thai match
- Julie Mezabarba defeated Mei Yamaguchi via unanimous decision in the Atomweight World Grand Prix Alternate Bout
Featured Images and Videos Credits to ONE Championship