Lara Fernandez is ‘on point’ as she prepares to face Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom at ONE Fight Night 12. With both coming off victories this has been describes as a potential title eliminator.

Her nickname is ‘Pizza Power’ but with three weeks to go until her fight in Bangkok the Spaniard seems to be on a health kick. Her hotel breakfast consists of muesli, yoghurt, ham eggs and tomato.

Fernandez is in Krakow for the 2023 European Games. She faced Axana Depypere in the opening round of the <54kgs tournament but was eliminated after a decision loss with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in favour of the Belgian.

Devastatingly effective

Next up for Fernandez will be a fight against an opponent who is on a ten fight winning streak with nine of these victories have come inside the distance. Phetjeeja has also proved that she can be devastatingly effective with the smaller gloves on, winning both her ONE Championship fights by stoppage.

Phetjeeja won at ONE Friday Fights 9 and ONE Friday Fights 16 with both victories coming inside the distance. In 2021 she also knocked out Aida Looksaikongdin, who married Rodtang Jitmuangnon earlier this year, with a spinning back fist.

Fernandez was handed an atomweight title shot on her ONE Championship debut but came up short against Janet Todd. But she caused the American plenty of problems in that fight.

At ONE 164 the Spanish fighter was matched with Daokongfah Banchamek and she beat the Thai fighter by split decision. It makes her failure to progress beyond the opening round of the European Games, which is an amateur tournament, somewhat surprising.


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Different climate

Fernandez does not appear to have enjoyed spending time in the cold and declared that she was looking forwards to returning to sunny Spain. She certainly won’t need to pack her coat for the upcoming trip tip to Thailand.

Temperatures in Bangkok are pushing 100° at this time of year. It will be her first time fighting in Thailand as a professional but she did travel there to compete as an amateur at the 2022 IFMA European Championship last year.

Having already fought in Singapore and the Philippines for ONE Championship she has had plenty of time to get used to the travelling. Fernandez has already had one title shot and she will be hoping to secure another with a win in Bangkok next month.