Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige was looking to get back to winning ways following her first career defeat to Jomary Torres last August in Macao, but Rome “The Rebel” Trinidad traveled to Bangkok with the intention of spoiling the party.
With the Thai crowd emphatically behind their hometown star, Ishige was determined to get her way. On Saturday, 9 December, the 28-year-old Thai star showcased huge improvements, as she rallied to a second-round submission victory at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The first round was spent exclusively on the feet, with “Tinydoll” staying true to her pre-bout assertion that she would showcase the striking game she has been working so hard on at Bangkok Fight Lab and Tiger Muay Thai & MMA.
Coming against a Philippine Sikaran national champion in Trinidad, it was a bold move. Ishige was unfazed by Trinidad’s attacks, and looked to land hard low kicks, while “The Rebel” replied with a piston-like straight right hand. There was not much to separate the pair after the first five minutes, as there were good stand-up exchanges throughout.
The second frame started in similar fashion, with both competitors looking to engage on the feet. However, it seemed clear that Ishige had advice from her corner to initiate a clinch sooner, and as soon as the 20-year-old Trindad over-extended with a right hand, the Thai ducked under to secure a takedown. It could have been all over there, as “Tinydoll” attacked with punches, chokes, and an armbar, but the durable Filipino managed to escape.
As they resumed on the feet, Ishige landed a solid left hook that appeared to daze her opponent, and this forced Trinidad to close the distance and drive her to the fence. From there, Ishige used her grappling advantage to sneak onto her opponent’s back and set up the finish, locking in a tight rear-naked choke and forced that tap from “The Rebel.”
With the win, Ishige now has the most victories in ONE Championship’s women’s atomweight division.
It has been a whirlwind of a year for Ishige, who showed her warrior spirit by returning from defeat to pick up a good win in a high-pressure situation in Bangkok. She moves to 3-1, and has certainly added to her game. Now, she is undoubtedly a more complete martial artist.