Lara Fernandez Aims To Shock Janet Todd In Debut, Motivated To Beat ‘All’ Top Atomweights
After a nail-biting delay, Lara Fernandez is ready to make her first walk down the ONE ramp and showcase her World Championship Muay Thai skills to the organization’s global fan base.
On July 22, the Spanish striker will meet ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd in the co-main event of ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash.
Not only will Fernandez be making her promotional debut at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, but she’ll also be competing for the prestigious ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title.
It’s a matchup that was originally scheduled for ONE 158 on June 3, but Todd was forced to withdraw due to illness. However, it appears the wait was well worth it for Fernadez.
She told ONEFC.com:
“My first fight in ONE, for the title? It’s incredible.”
Of course, the reigning WBC Muay Thai World Champion will have to cast her excitement aside and prepare to face one of the biggest superstars in the striking arts.
Todd has fought the best in ONE Championship – from Alma Juniku to Anne Line Hogstad to former two-sport queen Stamp Fairtex – and she’s beaten them all.
The American’s only defeat came against Stamp for the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in 2019, but “JT” redeemed herself one year later to claim the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title she still holds today.
Now, Todd is aiming for two-sport supremacy and a title unification fight against reigning atomweight Muay Thai queen Allycia Hellen Rodrigues. But Fernandez has prepared hard for “JT” and hopes to claim the interim belt for herself on July 22.
The Spaniard said:
“[Todd] is a very strong fighter, and [she has the] experience. Those are her advantages. [But] I was ready to fight when I [originally] received the news, so I just had to keep the pace and improve. I kept working in some areas, and [I’m] still doing so. I can tell the difference now – I feel so great.”
Some fans have been wondering if Fernandez is feeling the weight of competing for a ONE World Title in her promotional debut. However, she insists that is not the case.
Instead, the Lone Wolf Fight Team representative is focused on tactics – especially since “JT” relies on many of the same weapons.
For instance, Todd knows how to box, but Fernandez can punch too. Todd loves using her leg kicks as setups. Fernandez does the same. Todd has World Championship rounds under her belt. So too does Fernandez.
With that in mind, their matchup could come down to who wants it more, and if you ask the debuting striker, there’s no question about the answer.
“I will put on a show, and then I will become [the fans’] favorite fighter. It will be a very beautiful and technical fight. I hope I can take that belt home.”
Fernandez Eager To Test Her Skills Against The Atomweight Elite
When Lara Fernandez signed with ONE earlier this year, it was a reminder that hard work eventually pays off.
However, she knows that her toughest fights lie ahead, especially considering the depth and talent in the promotion’s all-striking atomweight divisions.
The 25-year-old said:
“To be part of ONE means a lot to me. Now I know I will face the best fighters in the world. That’s like a dream come true. That’s what every fighter wants to do in this career. That’s what I like the most about ONE – I get to fight against the best athletes.”
There certainly won’t be any shortage of high-profile opponents for Fernandez in world’s largest martial arts organization.
Whether she competes in Muay Thai or kickboxing, she can square off with the likes of Todd, Juniku, Rodrigues, Anissa “C18” Meksen, and Marie “Snow Leopard” Ruumet.
Of course, the Spaniard will have a giant target on her back if she overcomes Todd and claims the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title. She’s aware of this, and it’s what makes her start in the organization so exciting.
“It’s a great motivation that I might be fighting [those stars] at some point. That was my biggest dream, to be among the top fighters, and now that I am here, it’s a great motivation to keep going and some day beat them all. I work hard every day. I really believe I am at the same level now, just like those great fighters.”