This past year, ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan featured in two of the most pivotal bouts contested in women’s mixed martial arts.
Xiong Jing Nan stops the "Unstoppable!" The ???? showcases her trademark power in a stunning TKO of Angela Lee at 1:37 of Round 5!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, 31 March 2019
She kicked off her 2019 by defending her belt against the atomweight queen, “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, in the co-main event of ONE: A NEW ERA, the promotion’s first live event from Tokyo, Japan in March.
The match-up was the biggest women’s contest in ONE Championship history, and it certainly lived up to its billing. It was a five-round epic, which ended when the Chinese athlete stunned her challenger with a body punch and then finished her off with strikes.
After denying the previously-undefeated Singaporean her shot at two-division ONE World Title glory, “The Panda” was given an opportunity to accomplish the same feat.
Xiong moved down a division and challenged Lee for her ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: CENTURY PART I.
Like their first encounter, the rematch in the Japanese capital was a modern-day classic, which ended when the Singaporean locked in a rear-naked choke to force “The Panda” to submit with only 12 seconds remaining in the tilt.
Though Xiong has been quiet since her first loss in The Home Of Martial Arts, she breaks her silence in this exclusive interview. The Chinese hero speaks about the lessons she learned, her goals for 2020, and whether or not she wants a rubber match with Lee.
ONE Championship: You started off this year with an exciting victory over Angela Lee and became the first person to defeat her. How did that feel?
Xiong Jing Nan: When I won my first bout with her, I felt very happy. She is one of the greatest fighters of all time.
I respect her a lot, and we learn from each other. I appreciate everything [I have learned] from her. Also, I felt grateful for my fans. I fight very hard for them. I want to set a good example for them.
ONE: The last time you competed was in the rematch with Lee, and it was another classic. However, things did not go your way. What did you learn from your defeat?
XJN: It has already been two months, and I have learned many things — like what skills I have been lacking and what disadvantages I have. I know how to become stronger.
I learned some lessons from the failure, and the most important thing is no matter how tall you are standing or if you are falling down from the top, don’t forget to be the real you. Stay motivated, keep working hard, don’t lose confidence, and be the best version of yourself that you can be.
ONE: How did you feel competing at atomweight? Do you prefer that over strawweight?
XJN: Strawweight is my field and I know I have been doing very well, and to be honest, I feel more comfortable fighting in this category.
But I always want to break new ground. I want to explore a new field and learn new things out of my comfort zone, so I will keep trying different things. I will learn from different people, and actually, it felt great to compete at atomweight.
ONE: Would you like to face Lee one more time?
XJN: Of course, yes. I just want to face the best fighters and learn from them. No matter what the result is, I am happy.
ONE: Where do you feel you would need to improve if you were to face Lee again?
XJN: I need to work on my ground skills. I need to focus on it and work very hard on it. I hope I can beat her on the ground – this is my goal. If my disadvantage can become my advantage, then that is a great thing.
ONE: When you reflect on the entire year, what would you say are the biggest lessons you have learned?
XJN: I have learned many things, including how to deal with failure, how to adjust [to different situations], how to keep passion, how to be patient, how to see hope, and how to remain positive.
I want to be the best I can be, and the only way to do that is to keep getting better and better. Nothing can stop me.
ONE: Looking ahead, what is your goal for 2020?
XJN: My goal for 2020 is to find my disadvantages in each fight, to keep training, and to focus on [strengthening] my weaknesses. I want to become a better fighter. I am always eager to learn and to improve myself.
For every match I will be a participant in, I hope I can win with no injuries. Also, I want to see myself making progress, challenge in different fields, and practice different skills. I want to be on another level. It might sound difficult in the beginning, but I will try.
ONE: Finally, we have to ask, you have spoken quite a lot about your nephew in the past. Have you been teaching him any cool techniques lately?
XJN: The main reason I am trying really hard [in my career] is because I want to set a very good example for my nephew. I am working hard, I am moving forward, and he also likes martial arts. So sometimes, I show him some basic movements and kicks.
Read more: Martin Nguyen’s 2019: A Year Of Redemption