Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
Filipino fighter Gina Iniong has been tapped as substitute opponent for Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi in the ONE: Immortal Pursuit card set on Nov. 24 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, just two weeks after her last bout.
Iniong was announced as a late replacement for Angela Lee, who had to withdraw from her scheduled title defense after figuring in a car crash in Hawaii last week.
Iniong and Yamaguchi are familiar with each other having fought three years ago in the Pacific Xtreme Combat and both are expecting a stiff challenge.
“Facing Mei Yamaguchi three years ago was like going through the eye of a needle. That bout opened doors of great opportunity for me in this sport,” said Iniong, who is coming off a second-round victory over Priscilla Hertati Lumbangaol last Friday in ONE: Legends of World at Mall of Asia Arena.
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“I am expecting a tough duel with her again on 24 November in Singapore. I have lofty goals in ONE Championship, and I must win this match to achieve them.”
The 34-year-old Yamaguchi praised Iniong for agreeing to the fight despite having only little time to prepare.
“I commend Gina Iniong for taking this match on a short notice. She is a good martial arts artist with promising potential in the division,” said Yamaguchi, who stopped Jennu Huang last June.
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“Gina is in good hands, training with no less than the best at Team Lakay. I have faced her before, and she is always in good condition. As always, I am in tiptop shape for every bout. Brace yourselves for fireworks.”