While the extraordinary COVID-19 global situation has forced ONE Championship to postpone some of its shows and redesign its event calendar in recent weeks, the 21-year-old Malaysian has wisely used this downtime to study the athletes in the women’s atomweight division.
Now, after spending the past few weeks scanning the landscape, she has identified the perfect opponent and the person she wants to face next in the Circle.
The Johor Bahru native would like to challenge popular Vietnamese-American star Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen, whose courageous displays in the Circle have ignited the global fanbase.
“I see Bi as a person who loves coming forward, whether she is dominating or trying to create a presence in the match. She never backs down,” Jihin explains.
“In all her fights so far, she has shown tremendous courage and heart to fight. I would like to go up against someone like that.”
Jihin’s analysis of her rival in the atomweight division is spot on. Ever since Nguyen arrived in The Home Of Martial Arts last year, her willingness to engage with her adversaries and determination to succeed have been quite evident.
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The 30-year-old Vietnamese-American, who previously competed on the hit reality show Survivor, made a thunderous promotional debut in April 2019.
In front of a sold-out crowd in Manila, Philippines, she stopped Indonesia’s Dwi Ani Retno Wulan via TKO in the opening stanza.
Although she fell to Myanmar’s Bozhena “Toto” Antoniyar via razor-thin split decision in a thrilling back-and-forth encounter in July, “Killer Bee” returned to the win column two months later by defeating Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai clash.
Nguyen switched back to mixed martial arts for a tilt with two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex and though she dropped a unanimous decision, she never backed down from the Thai superstar.
Those performances have captured the attention of “Shadow Cat,” who believes the global fanbase could see an explosive battle if the two athletes were given a chance to share the Circle.
“I believe it would be fireworks if we ever clash. She loves to put on a show, and it’s the same for me, too,” the Malaysian states.
“We could bring out the best in one another. It might be different in the match, but based on what I’ve seen, I’m convinced that it would be an epic fight.”
It seems like Jihin, who is a Wushu World Champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt, has only participated in epic showdowns.
Since making her professional mixed martial arts debut in July 2017, the Johor Bahru feline has compiled a 5-2 record with a 60 percent finishing rate.
Should Jihin be granted her desired match-up with Nguyen and defeat the Vietnamese-American, then she would be one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming Malaysia’s first-ever mixed martial arts World Champion.
But for now, the “Shadow Cat” will patiently wait on the sidelines and hope to receive a bout offer from the organization’s matchmaking committee in the near future.
“I would love to return as soon as possible, but I respect what ONE has done so far in dealing with the COVID-19 situation,” she says. “Maybe after all this is settled, it’ll be a good time to return.”