MMA: Gina Iniong steps up, takes on Yamaguchi on short notice


Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong, seen in this file photo, will take on Mei Yamaguchi in Singapore. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Just two weeks after last fighting inside the ONE: Championship cage, Gina Iniong returns to action.

The promotion formally announced on Tuesday that Iniong will face off against Japan’s Mei Yamaguchi in a three-round atom-weight bout in the undercard of ONE: Immortal Pursuit at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 24.

Iniong, a six-time national wushu champion and a member of Team Lakay, is just coming off a victory over Indonesia’s Priscilla Hertati Lumbangaol at the Mall of Asia Arena last November 10. This will be her second time to face Yamaguchi, whom she defeated in a PXC event in May 2014

“Facing Mei Yamaguchi three years ago was like going through the eye of a needle. That bout opened doors of great opportunity for me in this sport,” said Iniong.

“I am expecting a tough duel with her again on 24 November in Singapore. I have lofty goals in ONE Championship, and I must win this match to achieve them,” she added.

Yamaguchi, who was all set to challenge Angela Lee for the title, commended Iniong for taking the bout on short notice and said she expects a tough bout against the Filipina.

“She is a good martial arts artist with promising potential in the division. Gina is in good hands, training with no less than the best at Team Lakay. I have faced her before, and she is always in good condition. As always, I am in tiptop shape for every bout. Brace yourselves for fireworks,” said the Japanese fighter.

ONE: Immortal Pursuit will feature the best and brightest stars in both local and international martial arts scenes, including ONE welterweight world champion Ben “Funky” Askren who will defend his title against former ONE lightweight world champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the main event.

Meanwhile, Singaporean lightweight standout Amir Khan will take on hard-hitting Australian, Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, in the card’s co-headliner.

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