ONE Championship

Gina Iniong gearing up for 2021 comeback

Gina Iniong gearing up for 2021 comeback

COMEBACK. Gina Iniong's return is expected to be a big shot in the arm for Team Lakay.

Photo from ONE Championship

Gina Iniong says she cannot wait to go back to the ONE Championship stage after taking a break due to her pregnancy

In 2020, just as she was at the top of her mixed martial arts game, ONE Championship atomweight contender Gina “Conviction” Iniong went on a hiatus.

The decision came just after she won the gold medal in kickboxing in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and scored a convincing unanimous decision win over Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka at the start of 2020.

The decision, however, was also warranted.

After her bout against Roka, the Filipina discovered she was pregnant. While enjoying motherhood, she also thought about retiring.

But as they say, once a competitor, always a competitor. 

“I can’t wait to get back to the circle. I’ve missed it,” Iniong said. 

“Once I’m cleared to go back to training, and when my body feels right, you can expect to see me alongside your favorite Team Lakay superheroes again.”

Her return will be a big shot in the arm for Team Lakay, who started 2020 on fire but slowly fizzled out by the end of the year. 

Before the pandemic brought sporting events to a standstill, the squad went 5-1 in The Home Of Martial Arts.

However, losses from former world champions Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon and rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang hampered what was supposed to be another brilliant year for the highlanders. 

While it was tough for Iniong to sit on the sidelines and watch her brothers struggle, she is confident that they will bounce back, just as they’ve done in the past. 

“I think losing is part of any sport. In sports, there are winners and losers, that’s just part of it,” Iniong said. 

“I am still very proud of my teammates because I know they work hard, win or lose. They are truly heroes.”

Iniong’s return will also shake up the already talented ONE women’s atomweight division, which is home to champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and current top-ranked contender Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga. 

“My division is really exciting right now. There are so many great talents and I’m so excited for a lot of potential matchups. Any opponent that ONE Championship will give me, I’ll be ready,” Iniong said.

“I’m hungry and motivated to reestablish myself at the top. Fans can expect a stronger, wiser, and more dangerous Gina Iniong next year.” – Rappler.com

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