US-based Filipina striker Jackie Buntan acknowledged having jitters when she made her debut in ONE Championship on Friday.
But when she started trading leather with Thailand's Wondergirl Fairtex, she seemed to feel at home in the cage.
"Every fight I have jitters, but this time around I definitely had it," said Buntan, following her dominant decision win over Fairtex.
"It was so surreal . . . Going from my warmup room, up to my marker, make my walk out it was so quick. Oh my God, I think I'm not ready for this. Walking to the cage and we touched gloves, everything kind of slowed down."
Buntan, 23, showed superb speed and dexterity in her ONE Super Series bout, dazzling the 2-time muay thai champion from Thailand with 4-punch combos and lightning-quick low kicks.
Near the end of Round 1, Buntan landed flush a check hook to Fairtex's jaw, dropping the Thai fighter face down to the canvass.
Fairtex stood up, but she was given a one-sided beating by the Filipina striker in the next 2 rounds.
"Definitely, that check hook working on both sides . . . We expected her to come in with shots. I was kind of remembering when she comes in I have that check hook waiting and that worked out," said Buntan.
"I knew (I hit her) really hard because I felt it in my feet. She went down, it kind of struck my my adrenaline pumping and my coach reminds me if you hurt her take a deep breath and then go in. You don't want to go in recklessly."
Buntan came into the bout relatively unknown, especially when compared to her highly regarded opponent from Thailand.
But with the way she disposed of the Thai striker, fight fans are now more acquainted with her.
"I think I was definitely viewed as the underdog leading into it . . . It doesn't hurt my feelings at all," said Buntan.
"But I think I put my name out there. And I think people know who I am now. I'm excited to get in there again."
FROM THE ARCHIVES