“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan is all set to play her part in a historic bout in ONE Championship, but she is also determined to ensure history is not made when the contest is over.
The ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion will put her belt on the line against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee in the main event of ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore on 9 November.
The bout is the first ever women’s World Champion versus World Champion match-up in ONE Championship history, and it is a bout that has the Chinese star excited.
“I’m very excited,” the 30-year-old from Beijing, China says.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting her in the cage.”
Xiong (16-1) will look to continue her dominance at strawweight by handing Lee (9-0) the first defeat of her mixed martial arts career and stop Lee becoming ONE’s first two-division women’s World Champion.
Xiong’s run so far has been a mightily impressive one. She stopped April Osenio in her ONE debut in December 2017, and then defeated Singaporean contender Tiffany Teo to capture the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title at ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE in January 2018.
“Panda” then went on to defend her strap twice, beating Argentina’s Laura Balin via unanimous decision in June, then stopping Brazilian Samara Santos in September to cement her position as the queen of the division.
Now Xiong welcomes Lee – who has been perfect inside the cage so far in her career – back to the weight class.
The Chinese star admits it represents the toughest test as a mixed martial artist.
“Everybody knows that her BJJ and ground game is super. I need to KO her,” she says.
Now based at the idyllic setting of Bali, Indonesia, at the Bali MMA gym, Xiong has been working on all aspects of her game to ensure she is fully prepared for the challenge she faces on 9 November.
“The Panda” admits she has gone back and watched footage from her previous contests to spot gaps in her skill set, so she can fix them ahead of the bout with Lee.
“I’ve learned from my recent bouts that I still have so many things that can be improved. I am especially focused on my weak points,” she reveals.
The Chinese World Champion, whose aggression has become her calling card in ONE Championship, has some words of warning to her opponent, who hinted in pre-bout interviews that she is capable of knocking out her opponent.
“Once, you mentioned you will KO me. Well, let’s see in the cage,” she warns.