Gina Iniong dedicates ONE championship win to ailing mother
MANILA, Philippines – Team Lakay can breathe a sigh of relief after top lady warrior Gina “Conviction” Iniong (8-4) eked out a split-decision win against Malaysia’s Jihin “Shadowcat” Radzuan (4-1) at ONE: Clash of Legends in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday, February 16.
It’s been that kind of stretch to begin 2019 for the renowned Baguio-based stable, which absorbed 4 losses in their ranks, including two world titles in a span of a week last month.
However, Lakay’s most recent win in Bangkok means more than a confidence boost for the “Conviction,” as she also dedicated her victory to her mother diagnosed with Stage 5 chronic kidney disease.
“This win is for my family first and foremost; of course my gym, Team Lakay; and the Philippines,” she said after handing “Shadowcat” her first-ever loss.
The 6-time Philippine wushu champion mixed her point of attack with excellent striking and well-timed takedowns to control the contest from the opening bell.
The only time Iniong was really threatened was late in the third round when Radzuan momentarily took the mount position, before transitioning to take Iniong’s back before the match ended.
That did little to convince two of the judges to favor the Malaysian standout on their scorecards as Iniong walked out with the split.
Finally getting her confidence back, Iniong vowed to make up for lost time as she continues to set her sights on one day becoming the first Filipina world champion in MMA.
"It was a big relief. I struggled in my last bouts, so it feels really good to get back on track,” she said. “I was confident that I did enough to get the win in the end. Radzuan is a tremendous warrior, and I wasn't expecting this to be an easy fight at all. Thankfully, our game plan worked.”
“Hopefully, this is a start of another run for me at the belt,” Iniong added.
This win will surely help Iniong’s run in the ONE Atomweight Division, where the undefeated and aptly-nicknamed “Unstoppable” Angela Lee (9-0) has reigned as world champion for nearly 3 years straight. – Rappler.com