Meng Bo made her long awaited ONE Championship debut in 2019. Injuries have affected her career but she has big ambitions for the new year.

Bo is the only fighter to ever defeat reigning UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang. But it is a fight which fell through twice that is on her mind in 2020.

Having had to pull out of two separate matches with Mei Yamaguchi due to injury Bo hopes the fight will finally push through in the coming months,

“I was planning to compete against Mei Yamaguchi but I was injured and I missed the fight. So I hope to have another chance to compete against her.”

Meng Bo and Laura Balin

Feeling good

Bo spent her career competing with smaller promotions in her native China and was understandably excited to make her ONE Championship debut,

“I pictured myself standing on the ONE Championship stage so many times. I felt very good, and I was much more excited than ever before. I hope I can stand there forever. As long as I can still fight, I want to be standing there.”

She made short work of Laura Balin at ONE: ‘Age of Dragons’ last month, stopping the Argentinian in the opening round. A second win would put her in the title picture and Bo admits the reigning atomweight champion is on her mind,

“Every fighter in the atomweight division is at a good level. I wish I could challenge Angela Lee but I think everyone has a chance to get to the champion,” she said.

Meng Bo and Laura Balin 2

One better

Bo’s compatriot Xiong Jing Nan holds the strawweight title. She was submitted by Lee in the fifth round of their atomweight title rematch at ONE: ‘Century’ part I earlier this year.

For Bo the goal is to go one better than Xiong by beating Lee in an atomweight title fight,

“My motivation is the title. When I get tired, when I can’t hold on, as long as I think about the title waiting for me, I will persist.”

At UFC 248 Joanna Jędrzejczyk will be bidding to become the first women since Bo to beat Zhang. That fight took place in 2013 and a lot has changed in the intervening years.

Meng Bo 2

Big plans

Zhang’s career trajectory has been steeper than Bo’s. But the latter is only 23 years old which is incredible when you consider that she is already a veteran of 19 fights and has been in with some of the best female fighters in the world.

Bo’s best days as a fighter are almost certainly ahead of her. And, after an injury hit 2019, she has big plans for the coming year,

“In 2020, I wish I could realize my dream (and) earn a title shot. I do think I have a chance to face Angela Lee. All I can say is that it would be a great match.”