With expectations at an all-time high, Gina “Conviction” Iniong made sure not to disappoint.
Iniong was the definition of dominance in her unanimous decision win over Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka at ONE: FIRE & FURY last January 31, at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Coming off a highly successful 2019 in which she dealt Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan her first career loss in The Home Of Martial Arts, and winning a Southeast Asian Games gold medal for kickboxing, the expectations were heightened for the Team Lakay atomweight.
Adding to the pressure was the presence of her father and husband at the venue. But instead of cowering from the spotlight, Iniong used it as motivation.
“In my mind, I didn’t want to lose in front of them. This is the first time my father and husband watched live and I couldn’t live with it if I let them down,” Iniong said.
“After the match they visited me, and I could just see how happy and proud they were.”
Facing a dangerous striker in Roka, Iniong turned to her growing skillset to upend the visiting Indian.
The 30-year-old landed takedown after takedown and came close to finishing her in the second round with a guillotine choke, but time expired.
Though she did not get a submission win like she expected, Iniong was nonetheless satisfied with how she performed.
“I think my determination to win really showed in this match. It also helped that my opponent was reluctant to put together combinations, because she was expecting to shoot for a takedown. I took advantage of that, and I focused on my grappling,” Iniong said.
“The game plan was to utilize the takedowns. I know that’s her weakness. I didn’t get the submission, but what’s important is the win.”
“I am still happy, I performed to the best of my ability and though I wasn’t able to finish her, I’m still satisfied with my performance.”
Following a busy 2019 that spilled over to the first month of this year, “Conviction” finally gets the break she deserves, and the honeymoon she and her husband held off for the longest time.
“For now, I want to get that rest, get a vacation, spend time with my husband and family so I can rest and recharge for my next matches.”
In the meantime, ONE Championship returns this February 7, with ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Top contenders Leandro “Wolf” Ataides and Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder will vie for the right to face reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang.
The lead card begins on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the ONE Super App at 6:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT).
To watch the main card, tune-in to ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30 p.m. PHT
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