Meng Bo will be competing at strawweight for the first time in her ONE Championship career this Friday. She takes on #1 ranked contender Tiffany Teo at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Xiong Jing Nan will be defending her strap in the main event at ONE: ‘Heavy Hitters’. Bo might be competing at this weight for the first time but the champion is on the verge of clearing out the division and new contenders are needed.
They might both be Chinese but Bo confirmed she would have no qualms about facing one of her compatriots,
“I haven’t thought about it, but the point is to do your best every bout, and if I really get this opportunity, I’ll go all out,” she said.
Trust the process
She is coming off a loss to Ritu Phogat in the quarter finals of the atomweight Grand Prix. That defeat snapped a seven fight winning streak for Bo but she can bounce back at the same time as instantly establishing her strawweight title credentials with a win this week.
She dominated Phogat in the opening round at ONE: ‘Empower’ and appeared to be on the verge of finishing the fight. But the Indian controlled the two final rounds and Bo was left wondering about what could have been,
“It definitely bothered me, and I felt regretful because I went into the match with the mindset of winning the Grand Prix. But it’s normal to win or lose, and the process is more important. For example, after that match, I realized I need to strengthen my ground and cage fence training.”
Weili Zhang decided to shave her head and change her training program after losing her UFC strawweight title to Rose Namajunas. Bo, who holds a 2013 win over her, has done something similar.
She didn’t move her training camp to Arizona like Zhang but she did shave her head and totally change her training routine,
“I changed my hairstyle, I shaved my head, and then decided to strengthen my ground and cage fence training,” she said.
She explains the decision to shave her head in a bit more detail and says she has also dedicated a lot of time to watching footage of herself as well as other fighters,
“I watched more of other people’s fights to shape a stronger heart. I also recorded more videos during my training to get to know myself better. A girl must have the experience of shaving her head in her life. I am not doing it for others, but to motivate and remind myself.”
Nothing to prove
Teo earned her #1-contender spot with wins over Michelle Nicolini and Ayaka Miura. Her only career losses have come in her two title matches with reigning champion Xiong.
It is an impressive resume but Bo definitely doesn’t sound overawed by her Singaporean opponent,
“I watched all her matches and she was technically rough. I (am) more fluid,” she said.
Having been outwrestled by Phogat she expects Teo to emulate the Indian. Bo is under no illusions about the level of her grappling and it sounds like she plans to play to her strengths,
“I’m not going to prove anything to her. I’m just going to do my best. There is no need to prove anything. Although I’m not good at the ground game and wrestling, I’m not going to purposely prove anything to her for that. I’ll just try my best to not let her hold me down and give full play to my advantages.”