Ayaka Miura did what Ayaka Miura almost always does at ONE: ‘Dangal’ recently. She won with her trademark scarf hold americana.
It was a return to winning ways for the Japanese strawweight who had suffered the first defeat of her ONE Championship career against Tiffany Teo last year. However it doesn’t sound like she did too much soul searching in the aftermath of that defeat,
“I fought the same way as Teo, even though I have a shorter reach than her. So, I tried to improve my techniques to close the distance and improve my takedowns.”
Miura’s mission will always be to finish the fight by scarf hold americana. But she did make some adjustments in the wake of that loss to Teo,
“I think it was an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate my game from scratch. Losing motivates me to improve, and although it was a difficult time, I think I was able to improve in many ways.”
Miura says she could make atomweight and hoped to earn a spot in the Grand Prix. But having been overlooked in favour of compatriot Itsuki Hirata any plans the 30 year old might have had to drop down a division are on hold,
“I could go either way with my weight, strawweight or atomweight, so since the atomweight Grand Prix was planned, I thought I’d go to atomweight if I could get in. I was training to be able to go either way but that didn’t happen, and I think that I can maintain my weight at strawweight. So I think my top priority is to win the belt at strawweight.”
Miura knows exactly which fight she wants next. Her sights are set on reigning strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan,
“I would have to say Xiong Jing Nan. All the opponents I’ve fought have participated in world title matches, and I’m the only one who hasn’t, so I’d like to do it.”
Xiong is set to face Michelle Nicolini at ONE: ‘Empower’. Miura believes this will come down to a battle between the grappling game of the Brazilian and the striking skills of the Chinese fighter.
But she is already strategizing ahead of a potential fight with Xiong,
“I think Xiong is a very strong opponent, but I don’t know until I grapple with her. Everyone has been hit by her strikes from close range. Her boxing is quick, so everyone gets hit and beaten. That means I would need to find a way to get past that.”
Coming off a loss, Miura admits she was more nervous than normal before facing Bastos at ONE: ‘Dangal’,
“I’m the type of person who doesn’t get nervous all the time, but I was anxious for this bout because I had to work hard after losing my previous match.”
She says that coach Ryo Chonan had her working on other techniques besides the scarf hold americana but once the action went to the ground Miura went back to doing what she does best,
“As for myself, I had been practicing more things and adding more techniques but I ended up winning with that one after all.”
Fighters know how Miura is going to try and submit them but seem powerless to prevent her finishing bouts with her trademark submission. After the first setback of her ONE Championship career the Japanese strawweight is back to winning ways and hoping to fight for a title next.