In a sport dominated by male athletes, Team Lakay’s Gina “Conviction” Iniong is probably the biggest name to emerge from the Philippine women’s mixed martial arts scene.
With her serious looks to match her in-ring expertise, the atomweight star’s fanbase has rapidly grown, not just in her own country, but all over the globe as she continues to make a name for herself in ONE Championship.
However, much to her growing popularity, some younger supporters are beginning to wonder where her nickname came from.
For much older fans of the sport, it does not really come as a surprise.
“Actually it came from Gina Carano. When I was just starting, [I] really looked up to her. She was undefeated and she really helped usher [in] Women’s MMA. That’s why I got her moniker, cause she really inspired me to be here,” Iniong explained.
“I think it fits me as well. We have the same styles, and I’ve always decided to win every fight with conviction.”
After witnessing Carano’s rise as one of the earliest women’s stars, Iniong has been using that moniker in all of her battles.
But more than just a homage to her idol, Iniong believes the nickname suits her personality as well.
“I think it represents my values and our team. When we go in there, we do everything with conviction,” Iniong added.
Whatever happens now, Iniong has no plans of switching up her nickname, especially as it is something that her fanbase has embraced so dearly.
“That’s what I was known for and it has excellent recall,” Iniong said.
“In a sense this is also my lucky charm. My career’s going well and as a fighter. In a sense it reminds you of where you came from and why you continue to train and compete.”
Tune in to watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, by downloading the ONE Super App. The action starts Friday, 16 August at 6:30pm local time.
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