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Mixed Martial Arts

Gina Iniong regains lost confidence after morale-boosting triumph


After going through a tough stretch in her career, Gina Iniong was just relieved to be finally back on the winning track.

Iniong (7-4) emerged victorious in a spirited battle between two outstanding atomweights, claiming a well-deserved split decision victory over the erstwhile-unbeaten Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan (4-1) at ONE: Clash of Legends in Bangkok, Thailand last Saturday, February 16.

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 the sport of mixed martial arts.

“It was a big relief. I struggled in my last bouts, so it feels really good to get back on track,” shared Iniong, who lost two of her last three bouts by decisions.

“Hopefully, this is a start of another run for me at the belt. “

There is also no doubt as to who Iniong was battling for in this contest.

It has been a rough stretch for Iniong, especially after her mother was diagnosed with a stage five chronic kidney disease.

Her gym, the legendary Team Lakay, also experienced some struggles after Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and Joshua “The Passion” Pacio dropped their respective World titles to start 2019

For Iniong, her stellar performance is for them.

“This win is for my family first and foremost, and of course my gym, Team Lakay, and the Philippines,” she said.

The six-time Philippine Wushu Champion mixed her point of attack with excellent striking and well-timed takedowns to control the contest from the opening bell.

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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 her hand raised by way of split decision.

“I was confident that I did enough to get the win in the end,” Iniong shared.

“Radzuan is a tremendous warrior, and I wasn’t expecting this to be an easy fight at all. Thankfully, our game plan worked.”

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