‘Happy To Be The Underdog’ – Diandra Martin Aims To Shock Jackie Buntan In Colorado
Australian striker Diandra Martin knows she’ll be going into the lion’s den when she faces Jackie Buntan at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video, but she’s extremely motivated by the tough challenge.
The historic card is ONE’s first on United States soil, and Martin will be flying across the globe to battle her American foe in a key strawweight Muay Thai clash at Colorado’s 1stBank Center on Friday, May 5.
It’s the 27-year-old’s first time competing so far away from home, with her previous contests taking place in Australia and Singapore. Plus, it will come on a momentous occasion for the organization, bringing added pressure to her matchup with Buntan.
But while Martin admits to some nerves ahead of fight night, she’s also beyond excited to be part of this blockbuster event in North America.
She told ONEFC.com:
“It’s awesome. I didn’t really expect [to appear on this card]. I was speaking to my coach, Kieran, about it. I said it’d be great to get on this show. He was like, ‘I’ll see what I can do,’ and pitched the idea to them. And then he was like, ‘You’re fighting Jackie. I was just like, ‘Coach, this is great!’
“It’s my [first time fighting outside of Australia and Asia]. So I’m really nervous. I’m really excited. We’ve got a bit of a game plan for the high altitude [in Colorado] and stuff like that. But I’m just stoked. I’m so excited. It’ll be good.”
Being more than 8,000 miles away from home, Martin isn’t expecting any familiar faces in the sold-out crowd when she squares off with Buntan inside the Circle.
However, knowing the audience will be backing her opponent doesn’t faze the MuayU representative. She’s ready to embrace her role with pride – and hopefully, win over fans with a memorable performance.
The Canberra native said:
“To be honest, I don’t really care if people boo for me or cheer for me. I’m there to show people what I can do regardless of what you think of me.
“I surprised people against Amber [Kitchen]. Many people thought Amber was going to walk through me, and I came away with a unanimous points decision. I was definitely the underdog for that. I feel like I’ll be the underdog for this. But that doesn’t scare me.
“I’m happy to be the underdog. I’m happy to take on the big dog. Let’s go. It’s a good challenge. Just because you’ve got a bigger crowd doesn’t mean you’re better than me. That’s the way I see it.”
Diandra Martin Wants To Prove She Belongs At The Top
Following her first ONE victory over Amber Kitchen last year, Diandra Martin is eager to build a winning streak and work her way toward the pinnacle of the women’s strawweight Muay Thai division.
That journey will continue against Jackie Buntan, who previously challenged for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title and owns an impressive 4-1 record in the organization.
It would be a massive scalp for the Aussie, but she feels ready to meet the moment.
“I think Jackie will be a great fight. She’s got good stuff. She’s got good boxing and good movement. So she’s definitely going to test me, and then I’ll definitely test her.
“I’m going to keep [her weaknesses] to myself. I’m going to surprise people with this one.”
The only ONE defeat for both Martin and Buntan has come at the hands of reigning strawweight Muay Thai queen Smilla Sundell, but they both rebounded successfully in their latest outings.
For her part, Martin has taken confidence from her victory over Kitchen, and she feels like her striking game has come a long way since facing Sundell in February 2022.
With some wind in her sails, the rising star now plans on showcasing her improvements on the biggest stage – and delivering an epic showcase for American fans and those watching around the world.
“A lot of people have said that I’ve definitely improved since my first fight against Smilla.
“I reckon it’ll be a very different fight. I’ll be way more confident. I feel better with the little [4-ounc] gloves, and that’s going to be a big [factor].
“I’m ready to show everyone why I belong on the ONE world stage.”