Gina Iniong Eyes Trilogy Bout With A Former ONE World Title Challenger

Feb 26, 2019

The year 2019 has been tough for some of the Philippines’ Team Lakay superstars, but Gina “Conviction” Iniong bucked that trend at ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS.

On 16 February, the Filipina became the first person to defeat rising Malaysian star Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

The three-round encounter saw Iniong dominate the contest in all areas, but a late surge from the 20-year-old Ultimate MMA Academy product almost turned the match around.

Gina Iniong uses all her tools to grind out a split-decision victory over the previously unbeaten Jihin Radzuan!

Gina Iniong uses all her tools to grind out a split-decision victory over the previously unbeaten Jihin Radzuan!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, February 16, 2019

When the final bell sounded though, it was “Conviction” whose hand was raised via a split decision.

In the aftermath of the event, the six-time Philippine Wushu Champion reflects on her emotional win, which she dedicated to her ailing mother, and looks into her future in The Home Of Martial Arts.

ONE Championship: Jihin Radzuan came into the contest as one of the hottest contenders in the division. Did she worry you at all?

Gina Iniong: I was really looking forward to facing her precisely because she is undefeated, and I wanted to be the first one to put a blemish on her record.

ONE: Jihin is a wushu World Champion, with a dangerous grappling game – so how did you plan to take her on?

GI: The game plan was to keep the match on our feet, because that’s where I excel.

I also watched her previous matches, where I learned that she’s not too keen on standing and I thought my striking skills were more refined than hers.

I made it a point to keep my distance, and I actually gained confidence thinking about all my previous bouts. I was really determined to win this one.

ONE: What preparations did you make to ensure you would stay safe on the ground?

GI: I watched all of her matches. One of her tendencies is to take her opponent’s head for a choke, so Coach told me to improve my defense and my rolls. Thankfully, it worked out well.

ONE: What was going through your mind when Jihin took your back and attacked at the end of the match?

GI: I think there were only seconds remaining. Her feet were firmly locked, but in my mind, the match was almost over, so I kept trying to catch her hands to neutralize them and let the clock tick away.

When I heard the 10-second warning, I held onto her hands to keep her from doing anything else as a last resort.

ONE: Did you think you had done enough to win?

GI: Right after the bell, I immediately asked Coach if I won, and he said I got the win. I kept asking him, and he said I had better scores, so I was a bit relieved.

When it was announced that it was a split, my heart raced. I was praying that my hand would be raised. I was really nervous that I might share the same fate as Geje [Eustaquio] and Joshua [Pacio], but I finally relaxed when I was declared the winner.

ONE: Who do you want to face next?

GI: To be honest, I really want to take on Mei Yamaguchi. I hope I get to take her on in my next match for a trilogy match because, if I’m not mistaken, she’s still the top contender for the World Title.

I really want to get my chance at the World Title, but before I get to do that, I want to earn it by defeating the top contender.