Gina Iniong's struggles in camp pay off in the circle
MANILA, Philippines – Filipina Gina "Conviction" Iniong took things the hard way during her preparations for Asha "Knockout Queen" Roka in the ONE Championship: Fire and Fury card.
But the result speaks for itself. (WATCH: Top 10 Knockouts | ONE: FIRE AND FURY Athletes | ONE Full Fights)
For 3 rounds, Iniong overpowered Roka at the sold out Mall Of Asia Arena, using her improved grappling as she imposed her will on her Indian foe to take a comfortable unanimous decision win last January 31.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist for kickboxing said that coming in as the stronger woman is by no means a coincidence.
"It's really tough looking for a sparring partner, so during our preparations, I trained with men," Iniong said, naming Estrada Dong-As and Edilberto "Scooby" Coquia Jr. as her training partners.
"Coach Mark (Sangiao) has always said that it's better to struggle during training than the actual fight, so that's what we did."
Her struggles were rewarded in a big way as Iniong was untouchable from the get-go, landing takedown after takedown as she took "Knockout Queen" outside her comfort zone.
She even came close to finishing her opponent in the second round with a guillotine choke before continuing her dominance in the final round. (WATCH: ONE: FIRE & FURY – Full Results And Highlights For Pacio Vs. Silva)
"When we train, as I've said, I always battle men during sparring and I don't think I've ever taken them down – maybe when they make mistakes but it doesn't happen too often," Iniong said.
"But here, you'll see in the fight that I was taking her down at will – and that's the effect of my training with them."
The win was her second straight in The Home Of Martial Arts and brought her closer to her dream match with reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion "Unstoppable" Angela Lee.
But that is the farthest thing on her mind now as she looks forward to spending more time with her family. (WATCH: Best Performances | ONE: FIRE & FURY)
"For now, I want to get that rest, get a vacation, spend time with my husband and family so I can rest and recharge for my next matches." – Rappler.com