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ONE Championship: Xiong Jing Nan eager to show Ayaka Miura her improved ground game

Xiong Jing Nan is set to defend her title at ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters against Ayaka Miura on January 14th at the Singapore Stadium. Known as a knockout artist, ‘The Panda’ looks to showcase her improved ground game against a submission specialist.

The ONE Championship strawweight titleholder will be bringing her 16-2 professional MMA record to this fight against Miura. With 10 of her wins coming via knockout, and only one by way of submission. The last time Nan scored a submission win was in her debut in Kunlun Fight back in August 2014.

Assessing her competition, Nan is very much aware of Miura’s grappling capabilities inside the MMA cage. The Japanese fighter comes into this bout with an 11-3 professional record and owns seven submission wins, while also having only lost once in the circle.

“I think she’s definitely a great fighter especially her judo, it is phenomenal. I’m very happy to fight someone like her because I could learn from the best of her specialty,” said Xiong in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

In preparation for her title defense against Miura in ONE Championship, the 34-year-old Chinese fighter has been working on her wrestling during training camp.

“She’s very tough on the ground, grappling and wrestling but I don’t think I have to just go right into her game but also I think if we exchange grappling and wrestling, I wouldn’t be less to her because I’m fully evolved this time.”

WATCH: Xiong Jing Nan’s full interview with the South China Morning Post

Xiong Jing Nan believes Ayaka Miura will try to avoid striking in their ONE Championship bout

‘XJN’ has been leaning towards the stand-up game to win most of her victories in ONE Championship and that is in contrast to her next opponent.

Ayaka Miura traditionally looks to impose her will and submit her competitors with her trademark ‘Ayaka Lock’.

Doing her homework heading into her title defense, she believes that Miura will look to bring her to the ground and it’s unlikely for the Japanese fighter to go toe-to-toe given her striking ability.

“I don’t want to sell her short but I just don’t see she got any chance when we go standing because she’s a judo artist. I don’t think she will go that way with me.”

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