ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan was dominant in her first title defense.
In June, at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, the 30-year-old from Beijing, China used an overwhelming blend of striking and wrestling to soundly defeat Argentinian contender Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin via unanimous decision.
A few weeks on from the event, Xiong has had some time to reflect on her decisive win, and think about her future – including the possibility of a World Champion VS World Champion superbout with “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
In this exclusive interview, “The Panda” talks about her strategy, how a bout with the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion might play out, and much more.
ONE Championship: Congratulations on defeating Laura Balin. What was your strategy for the match?
Xiong Jing Nan: I treat every fight seriously from my heart. For this match, I was more focused on my stand-up and my wrestling.
ONE: You are known for your boxing, but you showed a strong wrestling game. How much did training at Bali MMA help your wrestling?
XJN: Bali MMA was a huge help in every aspect of my training and life.
My striking coach Mike Ikilei always helped me with my stand-up skills, even after regular training time – and coach Don Carlo-Clauss helped me with my wrestling skills.
I kept practicing and training non-stop, thanks to having them by my side.
ONE: Were you disappointed you were not able to get the finish?
XJN: I really respect Laura. She is a very great fighter, and there was nothing disappointing for me.
Every fight is a chance to find out who you really are and what you really want. She gave me a chance to find what I am lacking so I could improve myself.
ONE: When would you like to compete next?
XJN: To be honest, this process has been very exhausting – from the early preparation to the fight’s end.
In my first fight for the belt [with Tiffany Teo in January], I was injured, and it has taken some time to recover. Also, I had problems in my life that led to an incomplete recovery. But when I got my bout with Laura, I adjusted my physical and mental conditions.
I really look forward to getting back to my real strength as soon as possible. I hope I can walk in the cage next time with my real inner “Panda.”
ONE: Is there anyone in the women’s strawweight division you want to face?
XJN: It does not matter who I face. Every fighter provides a new learning opportunity – not only for my skills, but it also allows me to better understand myself.
ONE: ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee said she wanted to challenge you for your title. Does a match with her interest you?
XJN: I really like her. She is an extraordinary fighter. I believe we could learn from each other. Her stand-up skills and her ground skills are her strong points – especially her ground skills.
ONE: What are your goals moving forward in ONE?
XJN: This is very easy and simple – to try my best in every fight. Also, I want to give my best to the people who support me and love me.