Reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan takes inspiration from one of her favourite movies as she takes on the world’s best inside the ONE Championship cage.
Xiong is a huge fan of “The Swordsman”, a Hong Kong martial arts film released in 1990 that tells the story of two men who have to deliver their master’s sacred scroll.
Watching it was a lot more than just a way to decompress for a couple of hours. It was a genuine influence on the newly-crowned ONE World Champion.
“My love for ‘The Swordsman’ was very serious,” she explains.
“When I was a little girl, I loved the movie, and I wanted to be one myself – to eliminate bullying, help the poor, and so on.”
It backed up the teachings of her father, who instilled similar values into Xiong as a youngster.
“My father taught me that everyone is equal,” she says.
“When I see people getting bullied, I feel outraged. I will stand up for them, and protect the vulnerable.”
That is no empty statement. Xiong tells the story of how she found herself confronting city officials in Beijing after seeing them bully innocent citizens.
“We have some city inspectors. Sometimes, even though they are doing things by the book, I feel they go too far,” she explains.
“There are times when I saw them confiscate items from some elderly street vendors, or knock their things over.
“I cannot bear seeing that, so sometimes, I would go up to the inspectors’ car and take those things back. I would carry things down one-by-one.”
Xiong did not return the goods for any sort of credit or ego boost. She did it because she was brought up to do what is right, and to help those who are not always able to help themselves.
“This is something that comes out of your heart. You cannot pretend or disguise feelings like this,” she says.
“This is something I feel deep inside my bones. I cannot change it.”
Now, as the reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight Champion, it’s Xiong’s hope that she can use her position to spread her message and encourage people to treat each other with equality and respect.
Her endeavours in the cage will back up those ideals, as she shows that hard work and endeavour can take an individual to great things.
The 30-year-old will return on Saturday, 23 June at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, and attempt to show that as she defends her belt against Laura Balin in Macau.