That second-round TKO at ONE: UNBREAKABLE II gave the Cambodian-American her second win in ONE Championship, and it showed that she can deal with a taller opponent who favors punching and kicking over grappling.
“I didn’t throw as many strikes as I hoped, but I was in control for the entire [first] round. So I’m proud of that,” Em says.
“I had trouble finishing my takedowns because she was so strong. My opponent has a kickboxing background and is taller with longer reach and longer legs.”
It was a different story in the second stanza, though, as Em scored a double-leg takedown off of Choi’s punches and landed in side control.
From there, “The Sweet Savage” tried to get to full mount, though she was forced to settle for half guard, where she went for a crucifix and then moved into an arm-triangle choke. Choi’s defense was tight, but Em eventually got to full mount and rained down punches and elbows.
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The Chinese athlete returned to her feet, but Em dragged her back down to the canvas and took side control, where she sent punches into the defenseless face of Choi until the referee waved off the bout.
Em was certainly pleased with the victory, but she also saw areas that could use development.
“I will continue training hard to be better for more fights. I honestly would like to improve on being more comfortable [with my] striking,” the Cambodian-American says.
Striking technicalities aside, she also hopes to step into the Circle more often this year and advance her grappling skills.
“Throughout my career so far, I’ve only fought once per year,” Em says. “My goal in 2021 is to be busier and have at least two fights. I’d also like to earn my purple belt in jiu-jitsu.”
While she wants to compete more often, “The Sweet Savage” is still relishing her win over Choi, which not only improved her position in ONE, but also that of her country.
“Winning means pride for Kun Khmer,” Em says of Cambodia’s famed discipline.
At the same time, the victory nudged Em further along in her journey toward a massive goal.
“I would like to become ONE Championship’s first [women’s] flyweight champion,” she adds.