Xiong Jing Nan has greatness on her mind, and she stands just one win away from achieving it.
“The Panda” takes on Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title at ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 20 January.
The Chinese star is ready to complete her ascension to the pinnacle of martial arts by claiming the biggest victory of her career.
“I want to make my parents proud of me, because every time my parents see me winning a competition, they are really happy,” she said.
“The second thing is that I want more people to know about China, and let more people know that Chinese people also have the ability to stand on the highest podium for everything.”
A former boxer, Xiong is now looking to make her mark inside the cage, and says the all-encompassing nature of martial arts is what makes it one of the most fascinating, technical sports in the world today. It’s also why she loves competing so much.
“Martial arts is a challenging, extreme sport without limits,” she explains.
“It could also be said to be one of the most versatile sports. It includes punches, kicks, knees, elbows, throws, and so on.
“I am a person who likes to challenge myself, who wants to soar higher and further. So I challenge myself to make what is impossible possible. Even if there is no hope for success, I try my best to create that hope.”
Wisely, Xiong invested a lot of time looking to bring her grappling skills up to the level of her striking, with victory at the China Open BJJ Championships evidence of her rapid development on the mats.
Since turning pro, she’s looked outstanding, as she’s compiled a record of 13-1, with more than half of those wins coming by way of KO.
Her most recent outing saw her make her debut inside the ONE Championship cage, where her performance against Team Lakay’s April Osenio was so impressive it catapulted her immediately into world title contention.
Xiong showcased both sides of her game against Osenio, dominating her on the mat and looking well on her way to a submission victory, before eventually finishing her opponent with her punches to score a huge first-round finish.
The win earned Xiong a place against Teo in the main event in Jakarta for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title.
Xiong immediately returned to Thailand to sharpen her skills at Phuket Top Team, and ensure she was 100 percent ready for the challenge ahead. Her rise has been fast, but her feet remain firmly on the ground as she prepares for the biggest bout of her career.
“I am proud. Very proud. But my pride is without exaggeration,” she said.
“My pride cannot be moved. It only grows. I want more people to see Chinese athletes at the highest stage.
“I am looking forward to the match. I do not know what is going to happen, or how the match is going to end, but it is going to be exciting.”