At Inside the Matrix on Friday, ONE strawweight champ Xiong Jing Nan once again defended her title. This time, against Singapore’s Tiffany Teo, on enemy turf at Kallang’s Singapore Indoor Stadium.
For Xiong (15-2), the unanimous decision victory actually put her back in the win column, after a failed big to move down and claim a second belt against Angela Lee (Lee had previously been defeated by Xiong at strawweight).
Despite the win, however, Xiong “wasn’t too happy” with her performance, she told media outlets during a virtual post-fight press session following the event.
Part of her frustration, it seems, is due to reduced training. After moving to Singapore earlier this year, very shortly after that, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Which brought about restrictions, meaning “she couldn’t spar with a partner, [or do] a lot of grappling work, and other types of sparring/training had to be done with dummies and sandbags, etc.”
Her coach, however, gave her footwork drills to do while in isolation by herself. So her speed “has definitely improved,” said the champion.
It’s been about a year now that Xiong Jing Nan has been away from her family. Which had her missing them heading into the fight as well. Inside the Matrix was also the Chinese fighter’s first fight as as part of Evolve Fight Team in Singapore, so she “definitely felt pretty stressed coming into the match,” Xiong added. She wanted to show her fans and the audience “kind of a different side” of herself, of how much she has progressed in the last year. But despite retaining her belt, the champ doesn’t believe she did that.
As for what comes next for ONE’s strawweight champion, “there is no champion that that doesn’t deserve a contender. So everyone is welcome to challenge for the title,” Xiong said.
Watch the full ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix post-fight media session with Xiong Jing Nan above.