Could Meng Bo Vs. Dayane Cardoso Produce Xiong Jing Nan’s Next World Title Challenger?
Meng Bo and Dayane Cardoso are ready to throw down in a pivotal women’s strawweight MMA clash this Friday, April 21.
The hard-hitting stars will face off at ONE Fight Night 9: Nong-O vs. Haggerty on Prime Video, with the global fan base watching as they each attempt to make their case for a World Title shot.
Longtime strawweight queen Xiong Jing Nan is certainly eager for fresh challengers, and the battle between Meng and Cardoso could help someone new emerge. Here, we preview the action from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand – which will air live in U.S. primetime.
Chinese Slugger On The Rise
Meng initially joined ONE Championship with many touting her as the next big thing in the atomweight MMA ranks.
Already riding a four-fight winning streak with three finishes, the Chinese athlete then racked up back-to-back knockout victories to start her promotional tenure.
Another decision win followed to put her within touching distance of a World Title shot, but a decision loss to Ritu Phogat promptly halted those plans.
Instead, Meng moved up to strawweight, and although she was defeated by former World Title challenger Tiffany Teo in her first outing there, she bounced back with a stunning first-round KO of Jenelyn Olsim.
The 27-year-old showed that she could translate her finishing ability into the heavier weight class, and now she owns the confidence to go on a run in her new division.
With 14 career finishes on her resume – including eight knockouts – Meng has marked herself out as a real threat to Xiong’s crown.
The Brazilian Newcomer Making A Statement
Cardoso stepped straight into the fray in her ONE debut, taking on former World Title challenger Ayaka Miura last April.
Boasting an 8-1-1 pro record with a five-fight winning streak ahead of her first appearance, the Brazilian fended off Miura’s signature scarf-hold Americana submission attacks and winged heavy punches in her rival’s direction.
Looking more composed in round two, “Day Monster” stuffed Miura’s takedown attempts and fired back with heavy punches.
Though it was a shoulder injury that halted the match, Cardoso proved that she could hang with the division’s best, as “Zombie” had recently gone five rounds with Xiong for the gold.
The TKO also bumped the 26-year-old’s finishing ratio to seven in nine career victories, with her lone defeat coming via split decision.
What To Expect From Their Fight
The resumes of both Meng and Cardoso show their potential to challenge for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title – and an emphatic victory in Bangkok could solidify that claim for one of them.
Both are proven finishers – with 21 stoppages from 29 combined wins – and they have fan-friendly styles that should make for an action-packed clash.
Meng is well-rounded, but she’s evolved into more of a knockout artist as her career has progressed. Focusing primarily on throwing hands, she uses concussive power that can hurt any opponent who stands in front of her.
Cardoso comes from a Muay Thai background and has strong kicks to go alongside her punches, but she also showcased solid offensive and defensive groundwork in her previous matchups.
Meng’s ground game has been her biggest Achilles’ heel in ONE, and the Brazilian has said she’ll be looking to exploit that.
However, the Chinese fighter has been working hard on this element at her new training center, Sunkin International Fight Club, also home to ONE Featherweight World Champion Tang Kai.
The last factor to consider is Meng’s extra experience competing in the top tier of MMA. Cardoso didn’t seem fazed by anything in her debut, but she also didn’t have to deal with considerable firepower coming in her direction.
Whoever gets their hand raised on Friday would show that she’s able to hang with the top heavy hitters in the weight class – perhaps even Xiong, who’s been taking out every strawweight challenger for years.