Ayaka Miura
cdn.onefc.com / ONE Championship
ONE Championship’s first event of 2022, ONE: Heavy Hitters, will be headlined by “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan defending her ONE Strawweight World Championship against Japan’s Ayaka Miura on Friday, January 14.

Since capturing the inaugural gold, Xiong has reigned over the division. She has turned away every challenger, including Angela Lee, when she moved up in a bid to become a two-division World Champion.

But Miura will hope to test her ground game as the submission ace tries to turn the division on its head.

The Japanese grappler has finished seven of her 11 career victories by submission, including her last outing against Rayane Marques Bastos at ONE: Dangal. The #4-ranked strawweight contender will need to get inside the range of the hard-hitting “Panda” to institute her gameplan and use her judo to take home the gold.

But that is easier said than done. Xiong has thwarted grapplers each time they have come for her gold.

In her last title defense, against multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Michelle Nicolini, Xiong dominated the action and showed her ground defense late in the bout. Miura will have to take a different approach as the Chinese star refuses to be put in a bad position on the ground.

The clash of styles makes the ONE Strawweight World Championship main event an interesting affair, and it will help shape the division for the remainder of the year. “The Panda” is the only champion the division has known, and she is intent on not letting a new era begin.

Miura’s sensational ground game will test Xiong in a new way, while Xiong’s power looks to bring an early end to the main event.

The ONE Strawweight World Title will be defended at ONE: Heavy Hitters on Friday, January 14. The action airs on YouTube beginning at 5:00 a.m. EST/2:00 a.m. PST.

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