Jackie Buntan was such an underdog against Wondergirl Fairtex that ONE Championship announced an April matchup for her opponent during Friday night’s broadcast. The Thai fighter might have to miss that appointment after getting well beaten by the debutant.

Buntan dropped Wondergirl with a left hook in the opening round on route to a lopsided decision win. The Fil-Am fighter made a big impression at ONE: ‘Fists of Fury’ and thinks it was a performance which will send shockwaves through the strawweight division,

“I think I was definitely viewed as an underdog which didn’t hurt my feelings at all.  But I’ve put my name out there and people know who I am now. ”

Check hook

When Wondergirl was dropped in the opening round she needed the whole ten seconds to recover and still looked completely stunned. The fight could have been stopped there and then but Buntan says the left hook which did the damage was something she had had drilled numerous times in training

“That check hook! Working it on both sides southpaw and orthodox. We expected her to come straight in so I was remembering in my head she would come in and I had that check hook waiting for her.”

Wondergirl had stopped her previous ONE Championship opponents and appeared to be on a fast track to a  Muay Thai title shot. But Buntan always believed she could beat the Thai,

“The game plan and strategy was there and we knew that she would be doing what she did so it worked out perfectly. We expected her to come in guns blazing, like her last two fights, walking that linear line and throwing those straight shots. She seemed a little more patient, a little more timid this time around so that wasn’t a problem at all.”

Speed and timing

Getting repeatedly tagged with hard shots to the head will make even the very best fighters a little ‘timid’ and Buntan found a home for her hooks right from the get go. She thinks Wondergirl was unable to cope with her hand speed,

“I think my speed and my timing and my feints gave her trouble and the more hands I landed on her I could physically see it was hurting her.”

It was obvious from her performance that she felt comfortable and Buntan says once the bell sounded her nerves disappeared,

“It was surreal. I definitely had jitters with ONE being such a big company but once I got in the cage and we touched gloves everything just slowed down and I felt like I was in my flow state. It felt like home.”

Big year

It was also her first time inside a cage, she has always fought and trained in a ring, and Buntan says she had to make a few adjustments,

“It was my first time in a cage. It’s definitely different but I just made sure not to get caught with my back against the cage.”

It was also her first time fighting in the smaller gloves but Buntan clearly enjoyed this aspect,

“It felt really good to punch somebody with 4oz gloves.”

With Wondergirl reportedly having suffered two facial fractures it seems unlikely she will fight in April. Buntan is now the woman to beat in the strawweight division and it looks set to be a big year for the Filipino American.