Jackie Buntan, Amber Kitchen Fired Up For Critical Rematch At ONE On Prime Video 5
This Friday, December 2, the young stars will rematch on the lead card of ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin live in North American primetime.
The outcome will have an enormous impact on the women’s strawweight Muay Thai division – and the careers of each competitor.
With so much at stake, Buntan and Kitchen explained the importance of earning a victory at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Buntan Eager To ‘Prove A Point’ Against Kitchen
Although Kitchen won their initial encounter back in 2017, the English striker has struggled to find her feet in ONE Championship. On the other hand, Buntan has enjoyed plenty of success.
The Filipina-American posted three straight wins to earn a shot at the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title. And although Buntan lost that fight to Smilla Sundell, the setback has only pushed her to work harder.
“[The World Title loss] is a huge motivation, and it’s lit a huge fire in me. It really has. Losses suck. It’s never a great feeling. But in general, in my whole life, I’m just not the type of person to stay down. I just can’t let myself do that.
“Obviously, I want to get back on the winning streak. Period. I want to get back in that mix of competing for the title again.”
After fighting Kitchen back in 2017, the Boxing Works representative knows she will face tremendous firepower this Friday. At the same time, she thinks there are some holes to exploit.
More than anything, Buntan wants to push her own pace and dominate her old foe to reassert herself as the top women’s strawweight Muay Thai contender.
The 25-year-old added:
“I don’t take Amber lightly. I think she’s all around a good fighter. She’s a strong fighter physically. I felt that firsthand when we first fought. She can be explosive as well. I would say her weakness is that she dwindles down at some point in the middle of the fight.
“[I want] to assert myself. I should be mean and hurt her. It’s one thing to win on points, but I really want to win by damage. I really want to hurt her because I want to prove a point.”
It’s ‘Make-Or-Break’ For Amber Kitchen In Manila
Amber Kitchen has taken part in two great battles since entering ONE Championship, but she’s come out on the wrong side of the judges’ decision in each of them.
With that in mind, the 23-year-old is planning to go all in and prove that she belongs right up there alongside the world’s greatest strikers.
“AK 47” said:
“For me, this is the biggest fight of my career. I’ve had two losses on ONE now. I’m really driven this time to get a win. Especially because she’s had a lot of experience in ONE. But I love being the underdog and I feel like I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve lost twice now. This is it: I’m going in for it.”
“I can either go straight to the top [with a win], or I’ve had three losses, and that’s really something I don’t want on my name. So in my mind this is it. This is make-or-break.”
Kitchen will enter with some confidence, knowing that she defeated Buntan in their first meeting, though she also acknowledges that plenty has changed over the past half-decade.
Still, the Brit is laser-focused on the task at hand and eager to show that she’s dramatically improved her own skill set, even if recent results haven’t gone her way.
“I think [Buntan] can be broken down. I think so far in ONE she’s only had Smilla who’s been a really tough fight for her. I think she’s going to be surprised by how much I’ve grown as a fighter as well.
“I hope she doesn’t think because I’ve had two losses on ONE that she can underestimate me, because looking back at when I fought her last, I was nowhere near the levels I’m at now.
“Obviously, we both improved loads. We’re both older, she’s had more experience, but I really feel like this is my time. This is a big jump for me to prove myself again.”