The two-time Chinese mixed martial arts champion will finally make her ONE Championship debut at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and she cannot wait to show the world what she is capable of in the ring.
Meng was scheduled to face Yamaguchi in “The Lion City” at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS in February, but a serious foot injury she sustained just days before event day stopped her from making her debut in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“I was a little bit disappointed because I was so ready for it and I was so passionate about it,” the 23-year-old says.
“I was so eager to be facing her, but then the injury came. But now I feel super excited! I feel very good now because I have been working so hard for it and I have I prepared myself well.”
The Northeastern Tiger Boxing Club representative will arrive in the world’s largest martial arts organization with an impressive 13-5 record, which includes eight wins by stoppage.
Yamaguchi‘s 31 professional matches make her more seasoned as a competitor, but the Chinese star believes she has the tools to bridge the experience gap and make a big first impression on the global stage.
“She is a very tough fighter, and an experienced one. I do admire her and also I respect her, but I feel I have more room to improve than she does,” Meng says.
“Her strengths are wrestling and jiu-jitsu. I will try my best not to face her on the ground. I am more of a stand-up fighter. Jiu-jitsu is also my strong point, but I will not reveal [my strategy for this match] now.
“I want to bring a lot of surprises – just wait and see.”
The resident of Changsha has sharpened her tools at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand.
Armed with a diversified arsenal of weapons she has developed with one of the most talented teams of martial artists in Asia, Meng believes she has the ability to get off to a flying start in ONE, and then go all the way to the top.
She has dreamed of making her bow on the global stage for martial arts for three years, and having to wait a few more months has only added fuel to the competitive fire burning inside her.
Her ultimate goals are to challenge for a World Title and help the growth of her sport in her country. If she can defeat a women’s mixed martial arts icon at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON, she could get a chance to achieve the former in no time.
And, if Meng can go all the way and realize her dreams of glory, she could join ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan as a figurehead for the rise of her homeland to martial arts dominance.
“They say good things come to those who wait, and the delay has only led to more excitement,” she adds.
“It will be an honor for me. This is an opportunity to tell the world that China is back as a powerhouse of martial arts. This is the birthplace of martial arts.”