ANA Julaton showed what the Filipino spirit was all about on Friday night when she defeated Aya Saber in ONE: FC Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena for a rousing mixed martial arts debut.
The Fil-American survived a second-round scare when she seemed ready to tap out after getting caught in a head lock, turning the fight around in the final round where she finished off her Egyptian opponent with her ground and pound skills to score the technical knockout victory to the delight of the partisan crowd.
Although she embraced the challenge of getting caught in their flyweight bout, the former world boxing champion is well aware she has a lot to work on other aspects of her game.
“I loved it. It was so awesome,” she smiled. “Don’t get me wrong; it’s a dangerous position to be in. But for me, I’m all about understanding the steps: ‘How did that happen? How do I get myself out?’”
“But I’d love to be more efficient and a lot more effective, and be a lot cleaner.”
It was still an impressive debut for the Julaton, who was expected to outbox her veteran opponent, but instead finished the fight in the ground.
“You just don’t know what to expect,” admitted Julaton, who handed her foe her fourth loss in six fights. “She has an awkward style. I felt like she was trying to make me work harder to close the gap.”
Fellow Filipina Jujeath Nagaowa also impressed in her MMA debut, scoring a similar stoppage victory over Jeet Toshi in the second round.