ENTERING her third year with ONE Championship, Filipino female atomweight fighter Gina “Conviction” Iniong said she is very thankful for the opportunity presented to her to showcase what she is capable of doing.

And while a shot at the division title has yet to come for her, she remains committed to staying the course, taking it one fight at a time with the end view of eventually fighting for the title.

“Everyone wants to be a world champion. We will get there eventually, but right now, this next fight is the most important to me,” said Ms. Iniong (8-4).

And that next fight comes in the form of a showdown with Asha Roka of India at “ONE: Fire & Fury” on Jan. 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“I have never thought about how many fights I need left before I get a title shot. I am just focused on always getting that victory against whoever they put in front of me. I just want to showcase my best and win,” said Baguio-based Ms. Iniong of the kind mindset she has as she parlays her wares in Asia’s largest sports media property.

The Filipina fighter last fought in ONE in February last year where she won by split decision over Hayatun Jihin Radzuan of Malaysia.

She is also coming off a successful outing in the recent Southeast Asian Games held here in December where she produced a gold medal in the women’s 55-kg kick light category of the kickboxing event.

This twin victories is serving as further motivation and inspiration for her as she girds for Ms. Roka (4-1), who she is considering a dangerous opponent despite losing her debut fight in ONE Championship in August last year.

“Asha Roka is a striker who has very good boxing. Right now, the only thing on my mind is beating [her]. That is what I am training for. I will take things one fight at a time. I believe in my abilities and trust in my team,” she said while also sharing that she feels that in the past year she has become a more well-rounded fighter.

“I am excited to climb the ring for ONE Championship again, and even more so that this event is in Manila. I want to make the Filipino fans proud again so I am looking to give a good performance,” Ms. Iniong added.

ONE: Fire & Fury is headlined by the world strawweight title fight between Joshua “The Passion” Pacio of the Philippines and Alex “Little Rock” Silva of Brazil.

Other Filipinos set to see action in the event are former ONE world lightweight champion Eduard Folayang, flyweight Danny Kingad, strawweight Lito Adiwang, and women atomweight fighter Jomary Torres. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo