For many professional mixed martial artists in Asia, making it to ONE Championship is a golden ticket to the global stage. Undefeated strawweight Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado is the latest warrior to get that ticket, and is the next one to test his fortunes against the best in the business.
The 24-year-old Filipino will make his ONE promotional debut at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY this coming Friday Night, 21 April. Opposing him inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, will be fellow countryman, Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, in an eagerly-anticipated strawweight affair.
Miado expects this bout, his seventh professional contest, to be a coming out party of sorts.
“This is my big opportunity to show people who I am, and to introduce my name to ONE,” he states. ”I am very proud they are giving me this chance. For now, I will do my best.”
Despite his newcomer status, Miado has a lengthy history with combat sports. At the age of 20, he took up boxing to follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol, Manny Pacquiao. On the Bicol Region’s amateur circuit, he amassed an impressive 32-2 record.
After 34 amateur fights, the Filipino saw his professional boxing prospects dry up, due to lack of promotional opportunities. As a result, he made a major change in his life two years ago — he moved to Manila to train at Sucuri MMA and try his hand at MMA.
So far, it turned out to be the best move he could have made. After all, success has quickly followed him.
Ever since making his debut in January 2016, “The Jaguar” has mauled all six of the opponents lined up across from him, including a first-round TKO and a second-round submission victory. Miado has also proven to be a durable fighter, with his other four victories coming by way of decision. He has also claimed some MMA gold, having won the Blaze FC Strawweight strap.
While Miado looks to make an impression with ONE fans and earn another win, his opponent will have entirely different motivations entering the contest. At 5-2, Catalan is also looking for his first victory inside the ONE cage. He last competed at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS in March 2016, where he suffered a first-round submission loss in his promotional debut. The 26-year-old is ready to put that memory far behind him.
Making “The Ilonggo” particularly dangerous is his ability to finish, as all but one of his wins have come by way of TKO or submission. That is something Miado is extra cautious of.
“My opponent is a good wrestler and striker, but I am focusing on my ground [skills]. I am a striker, but I know what his skills are,” he says. “I think his game plan will be to use his wrestling to take me down. I am practicing my sprawl and wrestling. That is my expectation.”
With a professional career still in its infancy, Miado is a big dreamer. In addition to wanting to blaze an MMA trail that rivals his boxing idol, there are also goals of becoming a world champion. The first step to accomplishing both will be to get his hand raised on Friday Night.
"My goal is to be a ONE champion. I want to be at the top here,” he says. “Eduard Folayang was my idol when I started MMA, and now he is the ONE Lightweight World Champion, so it shows I can do it. I will be going for the belt. Soon, people will know who I am.”
“The Jaguar” has his golden ticket. At ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, he plans to make the most of it.