ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan (15-1) has been an unstoppable force since entering the promotion in December 2017.
The Chinese superstar has ripped through the competition at strawweight with her world-renowned boxing, fierce grappling, and trademark aggression.
However, the division’s reigning queen has a dangerous new challenger waiting in the wings, who will try and upset the order at the top of the weight class.
On Saturday, 8 September, Brazil’s Samara “Marituba” Santos (12-5-1) will challenge Xiong for the gold in the main event of ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON, which is set for the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.
Can Xiong Jing Nan fend off Brazilian bruiser Samara Santos and retain her World Title in Shanghai?Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, August 25, 2018
Both athletes have similar experience inside the cage, but “The Panda” has solidified her status as the best in the world with three stunning performances in ONE Championship.
Within a seven-month timespan, she made a memorable debut, won the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title, and successfully defended it in a dominant five-round showcase.
Santos has seen all of those performances, and she has attentively studied her Chinese rival. While she acknowledges there is some pressure, the challenger is confident she will be able to defeat the home favorite and leave Shanghai with the belt.
“In the cage, there is only us – only me and her. The champion is very good, so it is a challenge I have to overcome,” the 25-year-old says.
“We have watched her recent fights. She is very aggressive on top, so the strategy is to take her to the ground and go on top.
“I respect my opponent very much, but I am aiming for the victory, and for sure, I am going to bring the victory to Brazil.”
Samara Santos should give Xiong Jing Nan her toughest challenge yet!Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, August 18, 2018
Santos has a skill set that could pose problems for China’s first-ever martial arts World Champion.
The native of Marituba, Brazil began her martial arts journey in 2013 when her friends encouraged her to learn Muay Thai. Soon, she began studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Formiga Top Team, where she still trains today, and then made the leap to mixed martial arts.
In April 2015, Santos made her professional debut and earned a third-round TKO. She loved the feeling of victory and wanted to taste it again.
“Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a fighter,” she explains.
“When I moved [to Marituba], I got to know the sport, and I liked it. I was invited to do my first fight, and wow, I felt so good, so I continued.”
Santos has won 12 professional bouts, with six of those wins coming via knockout and another two via submission. Along the way, she captured the Salvaterra Marajo Fight Championship.
Now, she joins the world’s largest martial arts organization with a chance to capture a World Title in her promotional debut.
Until this golden opportunity, all but one of her bouts took place in her home country.
China will be a new frontier for Santos, and her task will be made more difficult by the partisan support from Xiong’s home crowd.
However, the thought of being the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion keeps pushing her forward.
By claiming the gold, Santos hopes to change her life, as well as the lives of many others, for the better.
“[My goals] are to become famous, be able to support my family with my profession, to give them a good life, and to have a good life myself.”
“I am going to win, God willing. I will make my team very proud, and also everybody who supports me.”
Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast