The 23-year-old striking standout has been eagerly anticipating her chance to step onto the global stage and showcase her skills to a worldwide audience.
That opportunity will come as part of a stacked event in Singapore that features a who’s who of ONE Super Series stars. And for her part, Buntan recognizes the massive platform that she’ll be fighting on this Friday.
“It wasn’t until someone posted the full card, and I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I felt like an ultra-fan,” she says. “I’ve been watching these guys for a very long time through the screen, and it’s just a really cool feeling to realize I’m on the same card as these guys. I’m a little giddy.
“Being able to have Wondergirl as an opponent, I am even more excited. I know we’re going to both pump out a great fight for the fans. It will be a good, technical fight.”
Wondergirl has certainly looked outstanding in her two ONE Super Series performances.
The Fairtex Gym standout earned a pair of stoppage wins, knocking out Brooke Farrell in a cool 81 seconds and then dominating KC Carlos en route to a second-round TKO. With those highlight-reel victories in her back pocket, the Thai seems primed to be a breakout star in 2021.
However, the American wants to steal Wondergirl’s thunder and announce herself as a major player in the strawweight division.
“She’s got that Thai style. I’d like to say I’m Thai-style as well,” Buntan offers. “She’s obviously been successful in her first two fights. I think this would be a great matchup of beautiful Muay Thai, and to be on a card with these big pioneers in the sport just tops it off.”
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Although Buntan has watched Wondergirl perform and is mindful of the dangers her opponent will pose, she relies on her coach, Bryan Popejoy, at Boxing Works in California to handle the game plans for her bouts.
The American has full confidence in Popejoy’s ability to implement a strategy that will exploit holes in her foe’s game and maximize opportunities for offense.
“Generally, I don’t like to watch too much on my opponents,” Buntan says. “I’ll probably watch a round or two and leave the rest to my coach to decipher. But I definitely watched [Wondergirl’s] past two fights for ONE. They both didn’t go all rounds, so I don’t think I saw her full arsenal.
“I know she likes to use her hands a lot. I don’t want to give too much of the game plan away, but I have some stuff for her, definitely.”
In addition to Popejoy, Buntan has also been working alongside her longtime training partner, ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd. With one of the world’s best strikers pushing her, the American debutant could very well reach an even higher level.
She will certainly need to compete at a high level to get past Wondergirl, but she is feeling confident in her skill set ahead of Friday’s monumental showdown.
“I’ve been progressing. I’ve been bettering my craft, especially my fight IQ, so I have a lot more tools in my arsenal going into the fight,” Buntan says.
“I never really make predictions about fights, but I would just say it goes in my favor.”