The Japanese women’s mixed martial arts pioneer believes an impressive win against ONE Championship newcomer Meng Bo can set her up for a chance to compete in her home country, as well as another shot at the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.
Japanese martial arts pioneer Mei Yamaguchi heads to Singapore on 22 February for her next challenge ▶️ Chinese phenom Meng Bo!Singapore | 22 February | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The 36-year old veteran will return to action on 22 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium following her unanimous decision victory against Jomary Torres in December.
Though the two-time ONE World Title contender was disappointed not to get the stoppage, she was pleased she could show off a full range of skills as she won almost every second of the contest.
“I wanted to test my striking. I think it went okay,” Yamaguchi says.
“I wanted to finish her, but still I was able to show my boxing skills, and I was doing a lot of ground and pound in that fight. I was able to show that, too, so it was good.”
Over the past year, Yamaguchi has been working with a new striking coach to help her add an extra dimension to her stand-up game.
Mei Yamaguchi throwin' HEAT ????Singapore | 22 February | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Now, having shown a glimpse of what she is capable of, the Japanese hero hopes to take her performance to the next level to shut down a dangerous opponent.
Meng comes into the contest with a 13-5 record and finishes in eight of her wins.
The Northeastern Tiger Boxing Club representative may be new to ONE, but she is a two-time Chinese mixed martial arts champion who packs a lot of power behind every strike she throws – on the feet or on the ground – and is possibly even better at hunting for submissions.
“V.V.” expects to have her hands full, and admits she is wary of making any mistakes to give her opponent an opening, but she is also capable of coaxing a tap from her rivals.
“I think her record is pretty good, and she’s good at striking. I have watched her videos, and she’s becoming a total mixed martial arts fighter,” Yamaguchi says.
“She’s really powerful, and also she looks for the submissions, too. I know she’s pretty aggressive, and she does pretty exciting and surprising movements on the ground.
“She will be very aggressive defending all my techniques, so I hope I won’t get smashed by those moves and I’ll get the submission.”
Japanese women's martial arts pioneer Mei Yamaguchi resumes her quest for ONE gold on 22 February against Chinese champion Meng Bo!Singapore | 22 February | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness19
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Building on a win against one of the most talented women in The Home Of Martial Arts by taking out one of its most impressive new recruits would do a lot to help Yamaguchi stand out from the crowd when the next contender for “Unstoppable” Angela Lee’s World Title is determined.
However, the Tokyo native does not want to rely on just a win – she knows that the best way to catch the attention of the World Champion and ONE matchmakers is to end the match inside the distance.
“I think I need a clear finish in this fight,” Yamaguchi explains.
“I wanted to do that in the last fight, but it went to decision. Although I was able to show my skills in the striking, it’s better to end with the clear knockout or the submission. This time, I have to do that.”
The pursuit of World Title gold is not Yamaguchi‘s only aim for 2019.
She has not competed in her homeland since she won the Deep Jewels Featherweight World Title in her last bout before her move to the world’s largest martial arts organization. She can barely contain her excitement at the thought of performing in front of her compatriots again.
Will 2019 be Mei Yamaguchi's year to finally win ONE gold?Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, January 2, 2019
ONE will debut in Tokyo on 31 March with ONE: A NEW ERA, but barring an unexpected call to make a quick turnaround, “V.V.” does not expect to make the cut for that historic show at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
However, the global stage for martial arts is set to return to the Japanese capital for ONE: GREATNESS UNLEASHED in the final quarter of 2019, so her attention will be focused on that – if she can prevail in Singapore.
“All my family, teammates, everyone is here,” Yamaguchi says about Japan.
“Since I’m fighting out of Japan, everyone is always cheering for me, but it’s the best thing to fight in front of them. It’s such a great thing that ONE is coming to Japan.
“I know they are trying to have another one maybe in October, so I hope to be on that one.”