In just two years, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol has recorded more wins than any other athlete in ONE atomweight history, but one stands out above all the rest for her.
Her victory against Audreylaura “Ice Comet” Boniface at ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE was special for a few reasons. It came in front of her hometown fans in Jakarta, Indonesia, and it ended with “Thathie’s” only knockout of her professional career, but most important, it was a huge turning point.
“Why is it my best? It was my first victory after losing twice in a row in previous fights,” she says.
She was still determined to succeed on the global stage, so she took extra care to work on her defensive liabilities and come into her bout with her Malaysian opponent with a strategy that would finally allow her to live up to her potential.
That meant that she started the bout with a series of side kicks to keep her opponent at range so the athletes could not tie-up. At the time, the Jakarta native‘s ground game was not as developed as it is now, so she was desperate to take her time and keep the contest standing.
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“I learned not to rush into attacking my opponents and to remain composed. Previously, I was rushing into attacks,” the Indonesian wushu champion explains.
“It was this composure that allowed me to anticipate and counter Boniface’s attacks. Before this fight, I rushed to attack and was carried away by my aim to win as quickly as possible. That idea essentially broke my defense and I lost, twice.”
Even when Boniface made her way into the clinch, the Siam Training Camp representative made sure she did not surrender double underhooks so that she could stay upright.
“Ice Comet” was frustrated and started to tire from her efforts, which allowed Lumban Gaol to pounce. A series of head kicks rocked Boniface and she was finished off with a barrage of punches against the fence.
It remains the most spectacular finish of the Indonesian’s career, but that was not what she was most pleased about. Her confidence was low after her rocky early road in ONE, but this result changed that.
“The victory gave me more motivation and spirit to continue my training,” she says.
“I knew there were lots of athletes out there who were much better than me. Personally, I was not proud or boastful about that victory. I was indeed happy, but I was also highly motivated to improve myself.”
Despite scoring four more victories that year, “Thathie” maintained that mindset, and despite her obvious steps forward in all areas of her sport, the 31-year-old wushu specialist recognizes she must keep working so she can reach the top.
“Mixed martial arts requires more physical endurance in a five-minute round,” she adds.
“I also have to learn the grappling, takedown and submission techniques. I think I still have to improve my skills in BJJ.”
Though she is modest about her skill set, Lumban Gaol went from strength to strength with wins against Nou Srey Pov and Bozhena “Toto” Antoniyar last year and is looking forward to some big challenges in 2020.
With the backing of her coaches and training partners, she now has the belief that she can take on the top dogs in her division.
“My team, Siam Fighting, has been very supportive,” she says.
“Whoever ONE Championship match me with, I will accept without question. As long as I can continue fighting and doing extra preparations, I believe I can achieve victory with God’s will.”
Read more: Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol’s Top 3 Bouts