Singapore’s ONE Championship star Tiffany “No Chill” Teo is all set for the biggest bout of her career.
The undefeated contender (7-0) will face fellow title challenger “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan (13-1) in the main event of ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, with the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title on the line.
Teo knows her 20 January date with destiny will be the most stringent test of her career to date.
“It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to be a world champion,” the 28-year-old said.
“We see how people change after they become the champion, so I feel like you need to stay humble, grounded, and continue to work hard.”
Teo has left no stone unturned in her preparation for the bout. After her win over Puja Tomar at ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT in November, she went on vacation to Phuket, Thailand, but while there she still managed to pay a visit to the Tiger Muay Thai camp. She was immediately impressed with what she saw, and resolved to use TMT to help her as part of her title bout preparations.
“I realised there were a lot of female professional athletes training in Muay Thai and martial arts (at TMT), and the lack of female sparring partners has always been a big issue for my training camps in Singapore,” she explained.
Teo joined Tiger Muay Thai mid-way through December to continue her pre-bout camp in Phuket, following a spell at Singapore’s Team Highlight Reel.
In Phuket, she’s been training two to three times a day, with grappling and wrestling in the mornings and pad work sharpening her striking in the afternoon. The evenings are spent on personal training, and she works in sparring sessions twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays.
The sparring is a crucial factor behind Teo deciding to train at Tiger Muay Thai, with a host of top-rated female martial artists available for her to train with.
“It is one of the keys to this match preparation, especially for Xiong Jing Nan,” she said.
“I do not think I have competed against any girls similar to her style, so having sparring partners similar to her style — who keep putting the pressure on me — is important. I will get more comfortable when she does it to me during the match, so I feel it is important factor for this camp.”
After the hard work of a five-day training week, Teo uses her weekends to ease things off a little. She still trains on Saturdays, working on grappling and personal training, but on Sundays she steps back and has a recovery day.
“I just go to the beach and chill,” she said.
“I like the beach. It is very calming, so I will go to the beach, get a good cheat meal, and dream about how I will win the belt.”
Interestingly, “The Panda” is training just five minutes away at TMT’s rival gym, Phuket Top Team. However, the two martial artists remain cordial, and greet each other whenever they cross paths.
Life in Phuket has been a perfect move for Teo, as she’s been able to isolate herself away from her home of Singapore, and all the commitments and distractions it brings.
She’s convinced the change will bring success, with her focus as sharp as ever heading into her title tilt.
“Over here in Phuket, I like it because my focus is 100 percent on this training camp,” she said.
“Back in Singapore, although I am still preparing for a match, I have other commitments just being in Singapore. I have to think about my family, friends, etc. But over here, I am fully focused on training.”