‘It’s A Big Opportunity’ – Wondergirl Aims To Elevate Her Career In Special Rules Striking Fight With Xiong

Nat Wondergirl Jaroonsak celebrates after submitting Zeba Bano at ONE 157

Nat “Wondergirl” Jaroonsak and “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan are ready to make history at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video.

On September 29, the hard-hitting duo will square off in a strawweight special rules striking contest, which features up to three rounds of boxing in smaller 4-ounce gloves, along with some other legal punches.

“Wondergirl” recently switched from Muay Thai to MMA, and when the chance arose to face her division’s reigning World Champion in U.S. primetime – even under a different rule set – she couldn’t say no.

The 24-year-old spoke to onefc.com about her upcoming appearance in Singapore:

“I was kind of surprised. When they said special rules, I thought it would be one round striking, one round MMA, just like Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang [Jitmuangnon]’s fight. My first thought was, ‘Why?’ But then I saw the opponent and said, ‘Why not?’ I want the fight. So, I accepted the fight. 

“It’s a big opportunity to fight her, a chance [to build my career]. I feel grateful that ONE gave me the opportunity to face the champ. I’ll do my best.”

Xiong has dominated the women’s strawweight MMA division ever since winning the World Title in 2018, racking up seven successful defenses of her crown.

Moreover, “The Panda” was a member of the Chinese National Boxing Team before her MMA career kicked off, and she’s shown her ferocious punching power time after time in ONE Championship.

With only their hands to work with, “Wondergirl” knows she’s in for a difficult battle, but she’s relishing the chance to test her skills against the best:

“Xiong has some boxing experience and more experience in small gloves than me. She has good hands as well. It’ll be a tough fight for me, but I’m happy.

“I prefer to fight with good fighters. I can be the underdog. One of my goals is to fight with good people rather than [remain] undefeated but with low-level fights. 

“I will give it my all. It’s fun for me to do this kind of stuff, win or lose. I’m the one who’ll get more experience and get better. [Being the underdog] is more challenging.”

Wondergirl Working With Olympic Boxing Champion Ahead Of Clash With Xiong

Nat “Wondergirl” Jaroonsak is widely considered the underdog in her special rules striking fight with Xiong Jing Nan on September 29, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t coming to win. 

The Muay Thai stylist was already forced to focus on her hands following an injury in her last bout at ONE Friday Fights 26, so when the chance came to box against “The Panda,” she was in a good position.

She’s upped the intensity since accepting this matchup with Xiong, even bringing in 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Manus Boonjumnong to help her prepare. At the same time, she’s found it difficult to stray from her Muay Thai roots.

“Wondergirl” explained:

“We brought in Manus to train for the fight. Training has been going well. I feel good about my training with him, and he’s teaching me a lot. Boxing is all about footwork and head movement. 

“For me, it’s kind of hard, though. Like you can’t teep or kick with your legs. I can just use my two hands and upper body.”

The Thai fan favorite is preparing for every possibility in the Circle, and rather than going in with a rigid strategy, she intends to see how Xiong approaches their battle when they start exchanging punches.

Given her world-class training and her previous striking experience, the Jaroonsak Muaythai representative feels ready to adapt once the first bell rings.

She added:

“I’m not really sure about my game plan. Xiong can fight both ways. She can go forward or backward, so my game plan depends on what she gives me. 

“I’m not sure [how she’ll approach it] because this fight is not for the belt. It’s a special rules fight. So maybe she’ll go forward, aggressive, or just play it safe and try to score.”

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