Jihin Radzuan Happy To Face The Best On Her Way To The Gold

Despite being just 20 years old and 3-0 in her young career, Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan is flying towards a ONE Atomweight World Title shot.

After dominating another rising star in her last bout, the Malaysian hero is taking a step up in competition at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS on 7 December.

The Ultimate MMA Academy product will face former World Title challenger Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang on the main card at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

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Jihin is coming off a near-flawless performance in July at the same venue, where she overwhelmed Indonesia’s Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol over three rounds.

“Thathie” has been riding high this year – and entered the contest on a three-bout winning streak, which gave “Shadow Cat” pause before she signed up to face her at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER.

However, the Johor Bahru native proved her courage by deciding not to back down from a challenge.

“She’s a Wushu World Championship bronze medalist, and when I knew she was my next opponent, I took a while to think about penning the agreement,” Jihin admits.

“We had another option, but she seemed like a tougher and better move for my career. I watched a few bouts of hers, and I feel she is very aggressive in her striking and side kicks. I was quite hesitant to take the fight.”

“When I entered the cage, she threw several side kicks, and after that, I closed in on her and told myself, ‘Let’s test her on the ground.’ It was not my plan, but I felt I could take her better through grappling.”

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After some adjustment, Jihin proved her mettle by going after her more experienced opponent.

Though Lumban Gaol hung in there through some near-finishes, “Shadow Cat” was never discouraged, and she continued to pressure her opponent for the entire 15 minutes to claim a huge victory.

“She has big legs, and a very athletic build, and after two rounds, I could see she was a tough athlete,” she says.

“When I tried to armbar her, I could hear the crack in her joint and, truth be told, I felt like giving up because it was so tiring.”

“But I was in a better position, and I never gave up. I did not want to let go of the opportunity, and thankfully, I won via unanimous decision.”

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Less than one year before that triumph, Jihin was just an amateur with no professional contests to her name.

Now, she is recognized as one of the most exciting talents in all of women’s mixed martial arts. That means great challenges are just around the corner.

“Shadow Cat” is unfazed by the tasks she has in front of her. She is aiming high, and ready to take on anyone.

“I can say that I’m quite proud with how far I’ve come in only two fights, because when ONE Championship gives me good fights, I know they are keeping a close eye on me… I’ve been getting the best of the best,” she says.

“My eye is on Angela Lee’s World Championship belt, so every fight I take is going to be tough.

“Priscilla was the starting chapter, and this is the second chapter. Whatever is in store next, ‘Shadow Cat’ is set.”

The Malaysian will have to be at her best when she returns next week to face a woman who has already gone against the division’s top competitors.

Huang has four wins in The Home Of Martial Arts, and she will be hungry for a fifth to kick-start a run back to the top and a second chance to compete for the belt.

She is also responsible for some of the most spectacular submissions in the history of the organization, but Jihin is ready to handle whatever “Lady GoGo” throws her way.

“I’ll most likely stand and strike with her because I know she cannot take too many combinations. She might blank out and not know what to do,” she says.

“I’ll keep a good distance and strike even more in the second round. If it doesn’t work, I’ll switch to the ground, although I know she has a good ground game. I cannot be scared of her. I would prefer to make it a stand-up battle though.”

Jihin will be backed by the passionate support of thousands of her compatriots in the Axiata Arena. The Malaysian fans have provided the soundtrack to her two successes so far this year in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

Ahead of her biggest test yet, she tells them the best is yet to come as she goes for a hat-trick of wins in 2018.

“Thank you for continuously supporting me from start to finish,” she says.

“I want to show them I’m capable of anything – I can go to the ground or strike.”