All hail ‘The Panda’ as China salutes new world MMA champion
Xiong Jingnan claims One Championship’s strawweight crown with fourth-round stoppage of Tiffany Teo
China woke on Sunday to herald a new world mixed martial arts champion after Xiong “The Panda” Jingnan had pounded her way to the One Championship’s women’s strawweight title at the Jakarta Convention Centre overnight.
The 30-year-old Beijing-based fighter (11-1) never really gave the previously unbeaten Tiffany “No Chill” Teo (7-1) a look-in before the Singaporean succumbed to a barrage of blows – and to sheer exhaustion – with 2.17 gone in the fourth of their scheduled five rounds.
Referee Olivier Coste stepped in with a stoppage and the crowd roared their approval of the first mainland champion for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion. Xiong – who looked like she was ready for another go-around – immediately reflected on the enormity of her achievement, coming as it did in just her second fight with One.
“I am happy to represent China and take a lot of pride in that,” Xiong said afterward the win. “I feel great and I’m overwhelmed. This is a message to all the women across the world – you can achieve anything.”
The One organisation’s brain’s trust later revealed that there would be a hero’s homecoming for Xiong on their Heart of the Dragon card set down for Shanghai on May 26 – and they couldn’t contain their delight after Chinese scrapper’s victory.
China is obviously the market everybody wants and One certainly have a star on their hands with Xiong, who boasts heavy hands, a strong ground game and an easy nature under the spotlights’ glare.
Xiong had to deal with the loss of both her grandparents in the lead up to the fight and had revealed beforehand there had not yet been time to grieve the loss. She pointed to the heavens on victory and dedicated the victory to the pair while saying she was now on a mission.
“I want One to help me send a message to more women in the world to have courage and to trust in themselves – and to fight,” said Xiong.
As expected, given the fact both fighters have backgrounds in boxing, the pair came out swinging but it was soon apparently that Xiong had a distinct superiority in terms of power – and in brutal overhand rights.
Teo’s face was beginning to rise into a nasty shade of red after the first round and in the end it was a tribute to her courage that the 28-year-old lasted under the punishment for as long as she did, until the gas tank ran out.
The fact that Xiong was so able to dominate a fighter who was previously among One’s rising stars augurs well for a sustained run at the top – the perfect scenario for a sport rapidly extending its reach across the mainland.