The Thai women’s mixed martial arts pioneer is gearing up for yet another epic clash at home in Bangkok on 16 February against Nou Srey Pov, who could test her stand-up skills like never before.
However, the 29-year-old local hero will return to the Impact Arena, where she has earned three of her four wins in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Will Rika "Tiny Doll" Ishige / ริกะ อิชิเกะ make Bangkok go berserk on 16 February? ????????Bangkok | 16 February | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelegends19
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, February 3, 2019
“I love competing in Bangkok. Hearing the Thai people cheer for me really hypes me up,” she says.
Ishige is coming off of one of the most dominant wins of her career. Back in October at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, “Tiny Doll’ made a major statement with her first-round TKO of two-time Myanmar National Boxing Champion Bozhena Antoniyar.
The fact that she tasted victory despite carrying an injury suggests “Tiny Doll” will be a force to be reckoned with when she is at full strength.
Her opponent on 16 February will be taking her first steps into mixed martial arts, but she has a wealth of experience in other disciplines that could make this match the most dangerous of Ishige’s career.
The Cambodian is an experienced Kun Khmer specialist whose experience in the ring has seen her test her skills against a wealth of opponents from different striking backgrounds.
Srey Pov has already taken on many of Thailand’s top Muay Thai athletes on national television in Cambodia, and has traveled to Myanmar to compete in its national sport of lethwei, where she was awarded the Lethwei World Championship’s “Female Fighter Of The Year” prize.
The 24-year-old is also Kun Khmer World Champion in her homeland, with a jaw-dropping record of 91-8-2.
Can Rika "Tiny Doll" Ishige / ริกะ อิชิเกะ top this incredible showing on 16 February?Bangkok | 16 February | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelegends19
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, February 2, 2019
While Ishige may have the experience on the ground, Srey Pov’s résumé proves she is a formidable opponent with a willingness to test herself against the world’s best martial artists.
However, “Tiny Doll” believes there is a clear path to victory, but she is well aware of her opponent’s achievements and is as focused as ever.
“I know that my opponent’s strength will be her striking, and that she won’t be as good on the ground, but I never underestimate my opponent.”
“I’m training hard and will aim to do my very best.”
Because of the Thai icon’s rapid rise to superstardom, it is easy to forget she is not even two years into her professional career, but she already has ambitions of putting herself into World Title contention later this year.
To make sure she gets her 2019 campaign off to the best start, she has split her time between Bangkok Fight Lab and Tiger Muay Thai Training Camp in Phuket.
⏮ REWIND ⏮Ahead of Rika's return to action on 16 February, look back "Tiny Doll's" top 3 rounds in ONE!Bangkok | 16 February | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelegends19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, January 30, 2019
“Training is going very well. I came down to Phuket for about a week to take my camp to the next level, and also escape the pollution in Bangkok,” she explains.
“I train like every time I compete. It is six days a week and includes technique, strength and conditioning, sparring. I do mental training as well.”
“For this match, I’m working on sharpening all my skills – striking, wrestling, and groundwork.”
Then she has some of the best in the grappling business to guide her development and sharpen her skills.
Her main coach in Bangkok is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Lee Livingstone. While in Phuket, she works with American wrestling experts George and Frank Hickman, and sharpens her BJJ with Stuart Cooper and Alex Schild.
Combined with her stand-up work with a plethora of some of the best Muay Thai athletes her home nation has to offer, Ishige has trained to implement a simple but effective game plan.
If she can follow it to the letter, she believes she can rise to the occasion, give her loyal fans something to cheer, and get her hand raised.
Rika "Tiny Doll" Ishige / ริกะ อิชิเกะ left no escape! Bangkok | 16 February | 7:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelegends19
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, January 29, 2019
“I’m not going to let her stand. My plan is to be smart on my feet and to take her to the ground quickly,” she says.
“There is pressure too in being a hometown athlete. I don’t want to disappoint my fans.
“At the end of the day, it is my opinion that it is mind over matter and I can handle it.”