FILIPINO women’s atomweight fighter Gina “Conviction” Iniong swung back into the win column on Saturday night in Bangkok, Thailand, fashioning out a split decision victory in her return to the ONE Championship stage.
Lost in her previous match in July, Ms. Iniong delivered on her promise to come back stronger and better by edging Malaysia’s Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan in their women’s atomweight clash at “ONE: Clash of Legends” on Feb. 16.
Team Lakay’s Iniong put an all-around performance throughout the contest to get the better of her opponent.
Ms. Iniong, fighting out of Baguio City, Benguet, was a step ahead on all fronts as she easily prevented Ms. Radzuan’s takedowns, while also picking the Malaysian standout apart in the striking department with her signature right hand.
In a last-ditch effort, Ms. Radzuan caught the Filipino in a rear-naked choke late in the third round, but Ms. Iniong managed to hang on to the final bell.
In the end, two of three judges saw the bout in favor of Ms. Iniong, which improved to 8-4 with the victory.
Back to winning, Ms. Iniong said she is very happy with the win and to be able to move on from her struggles previously.
“It was a big relief. I struggled in my last bouts, so it feels really good to get back on track,” Ms. Iniong said.
“Hopefully, this is a start of another run for me at the belt,” added the fighter, who has made it known that she is eyeing a shot at the gold currently held by Angela Lee of Singapore.
Ms. Iniong added that she was also sharing her victory with Team Lakay and fellow stalwarts Geje Eustaquio and Joshua Pacio, who lost the flyweight and strawweight world titles, respectively, in January.
“This win is for my family first and foremost, and of course my gym, Team Lakay, and the Philippines,” she said.
Meanwhile, in the main event of Clash of Legends, Muay Thai legend Nong-O Gaiyanghadao of Thailand overwhelmed China’s Han Zi Hao to earn a unanimous decision victory and capture the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship.
Next for ONE Championship is “Call to Greatness” on Feb. 22 in Singapore that will feature the Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship clash between Stamp Fairtex of Thailand against Janet Todd of the United States. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo