Until last Friday night, only one female athlete on the ONE Championship roster had achieved two-sport ONE World Title glory. However, in the co-main event of ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on July 22, Janet “JT” Todd made history by becoming the second.
The ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion defeated Spain’s Lara Fernandez by unanimous decision to add the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title to her trophy case – and she did it in enigmatic style.
When the opening bell sounded inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Todd circled the promotional newcomer and attacked with sharp punches and low kicks. The American star’s aggression made it hard for Fernandez to settle into the contest, and the fact that “JT” kept her chin tucked tightly behind her shoulder made her less of a target, too.
Todd’s dominance carried over into the second round, where she evaded the Spaniard’s punches and countered with hard rights. Fernandez, on the other hand, couldn’t find the same success. Even when she managed to avoid the kickboxing queen’s attacks, she failed to gain momentum with counters.
In round three, Fernandez – a WBC Muay Thai World Champion and ISKA Kickboxing World Champion – left her corner with more pizzazz. She bulldozed Todd around the Circle and used her boxing combinations to damage her opponent, who, by this time, was on the back foot and slowing down.
The confidence was oozing from the Coria Del Rio native going into the fourth canto, and she continued to pressure Todd with punches and kicks. The American never strayed too far from the fight, though, as she countered when and where it was necessary.
As the final round began, it was still anyone’s fight, and both women knew it. Fernandez tried to keep her momentum going, but Todd showcased exactly why she’s a ONE World Champion.
In a come-from-behind moment that seems to be happening more frequently inside the ONE Circle nowadays, Todd stunned the Spanish fighter with hard right hands to ride the winning wave to the final bell.
All three judges gave the nod – and the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title – to the American star. The win nudged her record to 39-11 and now sets “JT” up for a unification match with reigning ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues.