ONE Fight Night 14 is an exciting event that will feature four premier women’s matchups at the top of the card. One of those bouts will be a special-rules striking bout contested in four-ounce gloves between Nat “Wondergirl” Jaroonsak and ONE women’s strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan.
The unique rule set for the bout intilally caught Jaroonsak off-guard, but that didn’t keep her from inking the contract and setting the stage for a massive battle against the strawweight queen.
“I was kind of surprised. When they said special rules, I thought it would be one round striking, one round MMA, just like Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang [Jitmuangnon]’s fight. My first thought was, ‘Why?’ But then I saw the opponent and said, ‘Why not?’ I want the fight. So, I accepted the fight,” the Thai star told ONE Championship.
“It’s a big opportunity to fight her, a chance [to build my career]. I feel grateful that ONE gave me the opportunity to face the champ. I’ll do my best.”
For Jaroonsak, it is a chance to prove herself against one of the best women strikers in the game.
“The Panda” has reigned over the strawweight division since its inception and has put away numerous opponents with her punishing blows. “Wondergirl” recognizes the difference in experience, but she plans to bite down on her mouthpiece and sling heavy leather right back at the Chinese star.
“Xiong has some boxing experience and more experience in small gloves than me. She has good hands as well. It’ll be a tough fight for me, but I’m happy,” Jaroonsak said.
“I prefer to fight with good fighters. I can be the underdog. One of my goals is to fight with good people rather than [remain] undefeated but with low-level fights.”
“I will give it my all. It’s fun for me to do this kind of stuff, win or lose. I’m the one who’ll get more experience and get better. [Being the underdog] is more challenging.”
And “Wondergirl” is leaving no stone unturned for this contest, getting help from the cream of the crop in 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Manus Boonjumnong.
“We brought in Manus [Boonjumnong] to train for the fight. Training has been going well. I feel good about my training with him, and he’s teaching me a lot. Boxing is all about footwork and head movement,” Jaroonsak stated.
“For me, it’s kind of hard, though. Like you can’t teep or kick with your legs. I can just use my two hands and upper body.”
No matter how much she prepares herself of this bout, there is still some unknown factors. At least, according to the talented 24-year-old.
Jaroonsak doesn’t know what to fully expect from her opponent, and she believeswill have to react in the moment once the bell rings.
“I’m not really sure about my game plan. Xiong can fight both ways. She can go forward or backward, so my game plan depends on what she gives me.
“I’m not sure [how she’ll approach it] because this fight is not for the belt. It’s a special rules fight. So maybe she’ll go forward, aggressive, or just play it safe and try to score.”
ONE Fight Night 14 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, Sep. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.
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