But when the #1-ranked strawweight contender battles old foe and reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for the belt at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX in Singapore on 30 October, that won’t be her mindset.
“I wouldn’t say it’s about vengeance,” Teo begins. “I would say it’s redemption.”
This showdown with Xiong has been over two years in the making. And this time, “No Chill” is determined not to let another chance at the gold slip through her fingers.
“The rematch is a really rare opportunity because how often do you get to avenge a loss, right? And it’s the only loss on my record,” Teo says.
“Also, I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a mixed martial arts fighter over the years. The fighter I am today is a totally different fighter from who I was in 2018 when I first met her – and honestly, Tiffany in 2020 will beat up Tiffany in 2018, anytime, with ease.”
Teo started her professional mixed martial arts career with a dominant winning streak.
The Singaporean ripped through seven consecutive opponents, finishing five of them along the way, to build a perfect 7-0 record and get the chance to become the first-ever ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion.
In January 2018, “No Chill” challenged Xiong for the inaugural crown, and she put on a valiant effort. Teo scored early takedowns and even worked from within her rival’s guard. But ultimately, “The Panda” was too powerful and stopped the Singaporean in the fourth round to dash her World Title hopes.
With that in mind, most people would think Teo is entering their next foray with retaliation on her mind. But it’s clear she’s only focused on her own redemption story.
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That path to redemption began in November 2018 when “No Chill” defeated eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and #2-ranked strawweight Michelle Nicolini at ONE: HEART OF THE LION by unanimous decision, handing the grappling expert her first loss on the global stage.
She followed that performance with a sizzling TKO of judo black belt and #4-ranked strawweight Ayaka “Zombie” Miura at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE this past February. Leading up to the bout, Miura had defeated all three of her opponents in ONE with scarf-hold Americanas and almost caught Teo in one as well, but “No Chill” escaped and later claimed the third-round stoppage.
Following those back-to-back wins, Teo is now ready to rematch the woman who’s been dominating the division since winning the belt.
At the same time, “No Chill” doesn’t expect to stand across the Circle from the same Xiong she met in 2018.
“She has evolved as a fighter over the years. I can see improvements in the aspects of her game. But I would say she’s very comfortable standing and striking,” Teo explains.
“She tends to overwhelm, at least in her past few fights, with flurries of punches. I don’t think she has a knockout punch, but she’s so explosive. Most girls can’t deal with it. They’re not used to that kind of intensity.”
With that in mind, the Singaporean believes that a little poise can go a long way against a rowdy striker like Xiong.
“I have to stay composed when that happens,” she says. “She wants me to not be composed and play her game, shoot for a desperate takedown. I can’t fall into that game. I have to stick to my own game plan.”
According to Teo, that plan will be a mixture of striking, grappling, and wrestling, allowing her to gain the advantage over “The Panda.”
“I’m confident that I’ll be able to deal with the strikes, and if I want to bring it to the ground, I’m confident I can take the game to the ground,” the Singaporean says.
If that strategy works in Teo’s favor, she might just snatch the gold away from the Chinese superstar.
“I feel anything can happen in this fight,” Teo says.
“But I want to be the World Champ. She’s in the way of my goal. She has the belt. I have to take the belt from her to achieve my goal. I want to dominate – dominate the whole fight. If it doesn’t end up in a sub or TKO, I want to dominate every round.”