ANA Julaton boxed, bobbed, and weaved, showing everyone what she has been known for.
Then she took the fight to the ground, doing counter-attacking wrestling maneuvers and ground-and-pound prowess on one of her coaches.
The Filipina boxing pride showed a glimpse that she is ready to mix it up with Aya Saber when she makes her mixed martial arts debut in ONE FC: Rise of Heroes on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Although she is banking on what she does best, the 33-year-old Julaton is not afraid to go to the ground against an Egyptian kickboxing champion, who is fresh from a first-round submission victory last month.
“It doesn’t matter what this girl brings,” Julaton said after her packed open workout on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m prepared for whether stand up or on the ground.”
Still, the former boxing champion, who incorporated jiu jitsu, wreslting, kickboxing, and muay thai in her training, is sticking to what she does best as she tests the MMA waters for the first time against a taller five-fight veteran.
“I think my fight experience overall (is my edge),” said Julaton, who also has martial arts background, having owned a black belt in taekwondo do and kenpo karate. “Even though she has five fights in MMA, I have a lot of fight experience in boxing.”
“Obviously it’s different, but when it comes down to the line in terms of longevity, you have to have a very strong mental base to sustain your game plan in fifteen-plus minutes,” she added.
Julaton, who recently signed a six-fight contract with ONE FC, believes fight-makers of Asia’s largest MMA organization ranged her against a fighter that will bring out the best in her and provide excitement to the home crowd.
“I think styles make fights. And it depends who your matchup is,” she admitted. “In martial arts, there’s a saying goes that you never want to bring a knife to a gun fight. So it all depends on what you work on your game plan. And I feel like in boxing, I’m able to have that kind of mindset if there’s a certain game plan you want to follow.
"Like since I’m a stand-up person, if I get matched up with a jiu jitsu person, obviously I don’t want to fight them jiu jitsu because that’s their style. I want to fight them standing up,” she continued. “I want to utilize my skills to always keep them standing up. I feel like that’s what makes the sport so unique and fun. I feel like I have the capabilities of doing something like that.”