Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol may have only been competing in mixed martial arts for a year and a half, but she has already been on an incredible journey.
Since her ONE Championship debut in February 2017, the resident of Jakarta, Indonesia has emerged as one of the atomweight division’s most promising athletes.
The 30-year-old, who is a Wushu World Championship bronze medalist, found her groove in 2018, as she rattled off a trio of first-round stoppages in five months.
Lumban Gaol’s career may still be young, but she has already experienced five moments in the organization that left a lasting impact on her.
#1 An Unstoppable Start
The neck crank that earned Angela Lee her shot at the inaugural ONE Womens Atomweight World Championship.Singapore | 18 May | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneunstoppable18
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 4 May 2018
Lumban Gaol remembers the moment that prompted her to get involved in mixed martial arts.
In February 2016, when she was still focused on wushu for Indonesia, her friends took her to ONE: TRIBE OF WARRIORS in Jakarta, which featured future ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
“I had yet to enter ONE Championship, but somehow I realized that I would cross paths with the promotion again,” Lumban Gaol recalls.
“At the time, Angela Lee was having her match in Jakarta. My friends were so excited to see her, but I did not realize who she was.”
However, Lee’s submission of Rebecca Heintzman-Rozewski via neck crank in round two left a permanent impression in “Thathie’s” mind. In fact, that entire show impressed the Indonesian, and it motivated her to get involved.
“This was what triggered me into taking the offer to fight at ONE’s card in February 2017,” she says.
#2 Her First Victory
Stunning striking from Priscilla!Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, 30 July 2018
In January 2018, Lumban Gaol kicked off the new year on a positive note.
The pair exchanged strikes and battled in the clinch, but the hometown hero backed up her rival late in the first round with three consecutive head kicks, and then unloaded a volley of punches to force the referee to stop the contest.
Just like that, Lumban Gaol had her first victory.
Although she was glad to get the win, the humble warrior saw plenty of room for improvement.
“I was not proud, and I do not boast about that victory,” she says. “I am indeed happy, but I am also highly motivated to improve myself.”
#3 Meeting Aung La N Sang
At the top of the bill that night, ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang challenged for his second belt in the main event.
Just days before the event, as the Indonesian star was entering the gym for one of her final training sessions, she was greeted by “The Burmese Python.”
Lumban Gaol, says that experience was “life-changing.”
“At the time, I was a new member at ONE and did not know anyone. However, Aung La N Sang greeted me in a very friendly manner and shook my hand. He was so kind and humble,” she recalls.
“It never occurred to me that a World Champion would greet someone new like me when we were training together. It taught me that we should never boast about ourselves, and remain humble when we become a champion.”
Both athletes went on to win their bouts at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD. Lumban Gaol submitted Limbaga in the first round of their atomweight clash via armbar, while Aung La N Sang claimed the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title with a 56-second head kick knockout.
#4 A Devastating Loss With A Twist
With three consecutive first-round victories, Lumban Gaol proved she was a force to be reckoned with in the atomweight division.
However, she experienced a devastating loss at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July.
Despite the result, Lumban Gaol still has fond memories of that night, because of what happened when she walked backstage.
“I thought it would be similar to my wushu days, where people just ignored me after I lost,” she explains.
“I was walking to the holding room with this idea, but to my surprise, I received applause from the other fighters. It was a humbling experience, and I immediately saw this is how ONE athletes acknowledge their fellow fighters – with respect and genuine support.”
#5 Experiencing Hospitality Abroad
As an active athlete in the world’s largest martial arts organization, Lumban Gaol has crossed many borders to compete in cities across Asia.
In addition to her hometown of Jakarta, she has competed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Yangon, Myanmar; and Manila, Philippines.
She is especially fond of the greetings she receives as soon as she steps off the plane, as this one-of-a-kind experience helps set ONE apart from other sports organization.
After that, the Indonesian gets to experience and learn about different cultures and places that she otherwise may not have seen.
“I was most impressed by the welcoming party at the airport every time I arrive in a new country,” she explains.
“I always meet great and friendly people, and also, I have visited destinations I have never dreamed of before.”
As a valuable and active member of the roster, she is surely destined to journey to even more destinations in the future.