It took a couple of bouts for Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol to hit her stride, but now she’s on a tear, and looking towards the top of the ONE Championship atomweight division.
The 29-year-old faces Filipina prospect Rome “The Rebel” Trinidad at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday, 12 May, and the Indonesian star will look to complete a hat-trick of successive victories.
“I have my confidence now,” the 29-year-old says. “Hopefully, I will get the win in my next fight, and that will be three in a row.”
Her last two performances were outstanding, as she dispatched Audreylaura Boniface via KO in Jakarta in January, then submitted Krisna Limbaga via armbar in February in Yangon, Myanmar.
Both wins came in the first round, and erased the disappointment of her first two displays in the ONE Championship cage, where she lost to top contenders Tiffany Teo and Gina Iniong.
The win over Limbaga was particularly satisfying for the national wushu champion Lumban Gaol, who arrived in ONE Championship with a superb 15-5 wushu record, but without an elite-level ground game to back it up.
But since arriving on the big stage, she’s been working tirelessly on the mats under the watchful eye of coach Zuli Silawanto at Tigershark. And she was delighted to be able to showcase her ever-evolving grappling skills in her win against Limbaga.
“For the first couple of minutes, I was reading her style. I knew she was a good striker, so when I got a chance to take her down, I took it,” Gaol recalls.
“[The armbar] was reflexive. I did not realise the opponent gave up until the referee stopped it. I knew I won. I was very focused. I wanted to finish it quickly.”
Previously nervous and lacking in ground skills, Lumban Gaol showed the world that she was ready for a move up, and with a newfound confidence stemming from her more well-rounded skillset, she’s looking to make an impact against Trinidad in Jakarta.
“The Rebel” is a Filipina national sikaran champion who is searching for her first victory in the ONE Championship cage. She lost out to Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige in her promotional debut, but showed enough in the contest to suggest better things are still to come.
“She is really good at striking,” she said. “She is not going to be easy to take her down, and she is taller.
“Rome has all the advantages. She will not be an easy opponent. I have fought many taller opponents before, so I am not scared.”
With an ever-improving skillset, a growing confidence in her ability and a two-bout win streak, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol is looking to show even more improvement this weekend.
And if she’s successful in her attempt to make it three wins in a row, look for her name to be linked with matchups at the sharp end of the division sooner rather than later.