The ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title is still wrapped tightly around the waist of China’s Xiong Jing Nan.
“The Panda” successfully defended the belt with an impressive third-round TKO of Brazil’s Samara “Marituba” Santos at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON on Saturday, 8 September in Shanghai, China.
Though Xiong ultimately won the contest decisively, she was in a bit of trouble early in the first round.
After a brief tie-up, Santos was able to land a trip takedown on the champion.
The Brazilian challenger then climbed onto her foe’s back, where she almost locked up a rear-naked choke.
The Chinese fans in the Baoshan Arena were thrilled, however, when Xiong was able to escape and return to her feet.
After some striking exchanges on the feet, Xiong then dropped her foe with a beautifully timed jumping knee.
Hungry for a first-round finish, the champion then swarmed all over her challenger, unleashing a shower of punches and elbows from the mount position, and then threatening with an armbar.
However, Santos defended the submission well to see the end of the round and progress to the next.
When it began, Xiong quickly cranked up the offence, charging forward and unleashing a blistering three-punch combination. After a quick tie-up, Xiong then landed a takedown of her own.
Unfortunately, the action was soon paused, as the World Champion landed an illegal kick to her downed opponent’s head during her attack.
Once Santos had some time to recover, the action resumed, and Xiong quickly landed another takedown, but soon wound up having to slam her way out of a Santos armbar attempt.
When Xiong took the contest to the ground again, she threatened with another armbar attempt, but Santos gamely defended this submission until the second round’s conclusion.
After two frenetic rounds, both champion and challenger began the third at a slower pace, but the match-up exploded into action when Xiong landed a spinning back-kick that stunned Santos and forced her to step back.
As the Chinese hero followed up with a hard standing hammerfist, the Brazilian signalled that she could not continue and fell to the canvas.
Her successful defence of the ONE Strawweight World Title was greeted with a roar from her legions of Chinese fans.
With this result, Xiong improves her record to 16-1 and sets herself up for a blockbuster World Champion versus World Champion bout against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee in November.