3 Reasons Why Samara Santos Can Derail The Meng Bo Hype Train

Jan 14, 2021

Samara “Marituba” Santos never turns down a challenge, and the Brazilian has another big test ahead of her at ONE: UNBREAKABLE.

The former ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title challenger will drop down a division to battle #2-ranked atomweight contender Meng Bo on Friday, 22 January, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Santos is no stranger to world-class rivals — she’s already faced “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and Ayaka “Zombie” Miura in ONE Championship. But in a weight class that’s more suited to her frame, can she instantly find success against the division’s elite?

Here are three reasons why the Minhoca Top Team representative could derail Meng’s incredible momentum in Singapore.

#1 A New Home At Atomweight

Santos has gone up against two of the strawweight division’s top fighters and shown her durability against both of them. Xiong is the reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion and Miura is the #4-ranked contender, yet both of them had to throw everything at the Brazilian to get the victory.

Meng is certainly a hard hitter, but the 27-year-old from South America did well to hold her ground against “The Panda.” And now that Santos will be level in the size department, her shots could carry more authority, and she could be even more resilient.

When the skill level is so high, small margins can make a big difference. Perhaps the drop to atomweight will signal a shift in fortunes for the Brazilian.

#2 A Proven Finisher

Santos ran through the regional and national scene in her native Brazil, going 10-1-1 in her first 12 bouts. Of her 11 total victories, she has won eight inside the distance, with six by way of knockout.

What’s more, seven of those stoppages came in the opening frame, so she can fly out of the blocks with the intensity to surprise her rivals.

That has to be a consideration for Meng, as she doesn’t want Santos to catch her cold. The first five minutes of this fight will be crucial because it’s clear that the Brazilian can get the job done when she finds an early foothold.

#3 Ground Acumen

Brazil's Samara Santos turns the tables on Ayaka Miura and nullifies her in with a triangle choke

Santos hails from the home of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has trained under various black belts in “the gentle art.”

Though she has only won two of her mixed martial arts contests via submission, she’s demonstrated her strong ground skills in other ways.

For example, Santos fended off Miura’s feared scarf hold Americana attack for a whole round at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, and she also took Xiong’s back with a couple of deft maneuvers at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON.

Santos has both defensive and offensive skills to find her way out of tough spots, and then she can capitalize on the counterattack. Those abilities could offer her a route to victory in “The Lion City.”

Read more: Gina Iniong Ditches Retirement Plans, Confirms MMA Return

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