Striker Jackie Buntan scored the first stoppage win in her ONE career by knocking Diandra Martin out in the first round of their 131-pound strawweight muay thai bout at ONE Fight Night 10 last May 6.
In that fight, the 25-year-old Fil-Am displayed a different kind of aggression, pushing the pace early before getting the knockout win in round one.
“Athletes go through that feeling in the competition where they’re in the zone, in the flow, where everything’s just autopilot. It’s almost like you’re not even thinking. And I definitely experienced that from the start of the round, which was very cool because that was only my second time experiencing that,” she said.
“It wasn’t until [the referee] did the count, and she fell, and I was in the neutral corner. That’s kind of when I felt like I went back into the present moment.”
With victory in hand, Buntan now shifts her focus to getting some gold around her waist, starting with the vacant ONE women’s strawweight kickboxing title.
It will be the perfect bounce back for Buntan, especially after falling short in her first shot at gold when she lost to Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell for the inaugural ONE women’s strawweight muay thai crown.
“I want to be a two-sport world champion in muay thai and kickboxing. Obviously, I did the Muay Thai fight last year. It didn’t go my way. That’s still on the horizon. But right now, I truly believe I’m the number-one contender for both,” she said.
“In terms of kickboxing, why do I want to do it first, and why do I want to do it now? It’s because I’m greedy. And no one has it yet. And I want to be the first one to have it, versus taking my time and being quiet about it.”
If she faces Sundell again as the ONE women’s strawweight kickboxing champ, fans could see the biggest striking match in women’s strawweight history.
“[If I’d] win that inaugural belt, and if Smilla is ready, then kickboxing champ versus Muay Thai champ. I think that’d be a really cool show,” Buntan said.