Ana Julaton polishes MMA skills as two-sport star vows to bounce back from loss
Ana Julaton has hired a grappling world champion in Ricky Lundell in a bid to improve her MMA skills. Karlo Sacamos

ONE loss was all it took to make her realize that there’s plenty to learn about the complex sport of mixed martial arts.

Ana Julaton hopes to be a well-rounded MMA fighter this time when she squares off with Walaa Abas Mohamed Kamaly in ONE FC: Warrior’s Way on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After making a successful MMA debut last May with a technical knockout win over Aya Saber, the Filipino-American boxer suffered her first defeat three months later, a split decision at the hands of Malaysian Ann Osman in the Reign of Champions card in Dubai.

“I was looking at MMA through a boxer’s eyes,” the two-sport star said on Tuesday after an open workout at Fight Factory in Taguig, where she offered a glimpse of her improvement as a mixed martial artist.

That prompted her to hire a grappling world champion in Ricky Lundell.

“He got to really reinforce the technicalities of the sport,” Julaton said of the American mentor. “He had me really utilize my boxing skills with more effective transitions to MMA techniques.”

“So I look forward to having an overall fight,” added Julaton, one of seven Filipinos, including Brandon Vera, seeing action in the 10-fight card.

The 34-year-old Julaton said she learned how to use other parts of her body, apart from her hands, to her advantage.

“My whole life I’ve been a stand-up (fighter), so to try and do grappling, I’m using different parts of my body,” she said. “Right now, I feel that I’m able to utilize my entire body.”

“There was a lot for me to digest in this camp,” the Filipina pride added. “But I’m very lucky to be under his tutelage.”

Julaton hopes to showcase her improvement when she takes on her Egyptian foe, who has the same coach as the Filipina’s first opponent in Saber.

“I’m expecting a bigger girl, who’s stronger,” she said. “I know they have a lot of vengeance on their minds.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos