BANGKOK – Rome Trinidad knows that she’ll be crossing enemy lines on Saturday when she makes her ONE Championship debut in 'Warriors of the World' against the popular and well-loved Rika Ishige.
She expects to overcome a hostile crowd as she crosses paths with Ishige, who has left the public mesmerized in this country with her dashing good looks and charisma.
But for the 20-year-old Filipina, she believes that won’t be a factor at all.
“Even if this is her home country, when it comes to the cage, it will be a different story,” said Trinidad in her native tongue, as she looks to make it 2-0 in her MMA career.
“It’s going to be an entirely different story, even if she’s popular and loved here, I won’t be thinking about that. My focus will entirely be on the fight and how I’ll carry the fight in my favor,” she added.
Trinidad insisted she doesn't hate Ishige. The two, in fact, share a common past as freelancing models. She even admitted looking up to Ishige, in the sense of how glamorous she is.
“Truth be told, she’s my idol because she looks so beautiful,” a blushing Trinidad said. “But we’re facing each other, we need to fight and I’ll fight for the Philippines.”
Ishige (2-1) is coming off the first loss of her career after getting beaten black and blue by another Filipina in Jomary Torres in Macau last August.
Torres controlled the stand-up game in that August fight before finishing Ishige with some vicious ground and pound in the very first round.
That only shows that Ishige is very beatable and Trinidad has already reached out to her fellow Filipina to help her with the bout.
“I watched that fight and I already talked to Jomary about the things that I need to do, especially on the striking department,” Trinidad said.
“We all know that us Filipinos, we have heavy hands, we’re heavy hitters. So I think I can use my striking skills to my advantage on fight night,” she added.