After a frustrating start to 2019, Meng Bo made a huge first impression in ONE Championship.
???? ONE-PUNCH KO ????Chinese star Meng Bo knocks out former ONE World Title challenger Laura Balin in the first round of her dazzling ONE debut!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEAODHOTW????: Book your hotel ???? hotelplanner.com????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, November 16, 2019
Injury setbacks forced her to withdraw from two scheduled match-ups with Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi earlier in the year, but she finally made her promotional debut in November.
The powerful Chinese athlete knocked out Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin almost halfway into the opening round of their clash at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS in Beijing, China, and it felt even better than she had anticipated.
“I actually should have [made my debut] way earlier, but I was injured,” she reveals.
“I pictured myself standing on the ONE Championship stage so many times. I felt very good, and I was much more excited than ever before. I hope I can stand there forever. As long as I can still fight, I want to be standing there.”
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It was the Changsha native’s only bout of 2019.
However, the 23-year-old has taken motivation from the victory and hopes that her injury woes are behind her so that she can gain some traction in the forthcoming year.
“I wish to be fighting as much as I can, but it also depends on my situation and ONE’s schedule,” she admits.
Meng, who represents Tiger Wang Gym, is an exciting addition to the women’s atomweight ranks. Her first-round win marked her out as a threat to the division, and she believes she can compete with the top contenders in the weight class.
The two-time Chinese mixed martial arts champion does not expect to skip the queue, however. She wants to earn her way towards ONE World Title gold, and there is one elite opponent she has in her sights.
“Every fighter in the atomweight division is at a good level. To be honest, I wish I could challenge Angela Lee, but I think everyone has a chance to get to the champion,” she says.
“I still have one little wish. I was planning to compete against Mei Yamaguchi, but I was injured and I missed the fight. So I hope to have another chance to compete against her.”
If the Chinese athlete squared off against the two-time ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger and succeeded, it would definitely strengthen her case for a shot at the gold.
Defeating the Japanese veteran would not be easy, but the biggest prize in martial arts is on Meng’s agenda and she is willing to overcome any obstacle to reach it.
“In 2020, I wish I could realize my dream — earn a title shot,” she asserts.
“My motivation is the World Title. When I get tired, when I can’t hold on, as long as I think about the title waiting for me, I will persist.
“I do think I have a chance to face Angela Lee. I think when I am making progress, she is also making progress, so all I can say is that it would be a great match.”