GINA Iniong is not much of a talker as she struggled for words in the press conference for her ONE Championship debut held at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Team Lakay discovery, though, is good at fighting and she intends to prove that when she takes on Natalie Gonzales-Hills at ONE: Kings of Destiny on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"To be honest, hindi talaga sanay makihalubilo, lalo na yung interviews. Mas gusto ko pa lumaban kesa umattend sa mga event na ganito," Iniong admitted after the pre-event press conference.
"Masayang masaya lang po ako kasi binigyan ako ng chance ng ONE Championship na lumaban dito," she added.
Her 4-2 record in MMA might not turn heads but Iniong’s wushu background with Team Lakay and her knockout power makes her ONE Championship debut one of the most awaited in Philippine women’s MMA.
Team Lakay head trainer Mark Sangiao shares the same excitement. The highly respected trainer is wary of Iniong’s reaction in first fight under ONE, but Sangiao remains confident that the lady dubbed as 'Conviction' will impress against her Fil-British foe.
It also helps that she's sparring with some of the best fighters in the Philippines - particularly ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang and former champ Honorio Banario.
"Excited ako para sa kanya. Pero iba yung nasa big league talaga. Iba yung environment dito. Tignan natin kung ano yung confidence ni Gina. Kami we're very confident. Yung support namin andun naman," Sangiao said.
"Yung power niya hindi basta-basta. Tingin ko magandang test para sa kalaban niya sa Friday."