EXPERIENCE will play a big factor when Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong tests Jihin Radzuan in one of the most highly-anticipated contests at ONE: Clash of Legends slated at Bangkok’s Impact Arena on February 16.
Iniong, who last saw action in July 2018 hopes to return to the win column after a three round loss to former title contender Istela Nunes.
As a member of the acclaimed Team Lakay stable, Iniong has seen a host of her teammates capture world championship over the last 12 months, and now she wants a taste of that success for herself.
Iniong believes a win over Radzaun will propel her closer to a possible shot at the atomweight title held by Angela Lee.
“I get my strength from seeing my teammates and my seniors with their own belts,” she admitted. “I am the only one who is yet to have one, so I am really envious! They always tell me, ‘You’re the last one. You have a huge chance to get the belt, so don’t waste it.”
Iniong however knows she has a tough test in this pivotal women’s atomweight bout, but she believes she will have the experience advantage when she returns to action in Bangkok, Thailand.
Jihin has impressed many fans with her performances in ONE Championship to date, and Iniong admits she was suitably impressed by “Shadow Cat’s” last outing.
“What I know of Jihin Radzuan is she is well-rounded,” says Iniong. “Her ground game is good. I watched her last fight, and I was really amazed with her last performance.”
Iniong adds that she was particularly impressed at Radzuan’s well-rounded skill set for such an inexperienced competitor.
Though the 20-year-old got her first taste of competitive martial arts in the striking realm, she has added a formidable ground game to her repertoire.
“Some athletes are focused on striking only, while others only focus on whatever other aspects they are good at, like their ground game,” explains Iniong.
“But you can see that Jihin’s striking and ground game are both very good.”
It means that Iniong, who has been working her grappling game to bring it up to her level of her wushu striking the athletes at her gym are famous for, knows she may have to match up with her opponent both on the feet and on the ground.
Iniong believes her striking will prove the difference-maker on the night, but she believes she can dominate wherever the contest goes.
“Jihin’s weakness is her striking,” she states. “My game plan in our bout is, if we end up striking, we will strike with each other. If we end up in the ground, I will also play on the ground.