Thailand’s Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige made a successful mixed martial arts debut just two months ago. On Friday, 26 May, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, she had her second match and proved to be even more dominant.
Ishige submitted debuting Indonesian martial artist Nita Dea with a rear-naked choke in the opening stanza of their atomweight encounter at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES.
However, for a moment, the 28-year-old Thai was rocked by strikes from her Indonesian opponent, a national wushu and sanda champion.
“I trained hard and I prepared my striking, but the first time she came at me with her punches, I got hit and was dizzy,” she says, after the bout. “But after that, I tried to take her down and get the submission, and that was it. I really like this fight, because I almost got knocked out.”
When the opening bell rang, Ishige looked genuinely ecstatic to be there in the cage. The smile was wiped away early, however, as Dea came out firing, and looked to shock “Tinydoll” right out of the gate. Some hard right hands found their mark, and forced Ishige into the clinch to try and settle things down.
Dea’s wrestling allowed her to counter and land on top, but it was on the ground that Ishige’s skills were really allowed to shine. As frenzied as the Indonesian’s attacks were on the feet, Ishige’s were in the grappling exchanges. She wasted no time in taking the back and hunting for the choke.
In an incredible display of heart and courage, Dea fought through some deep armbar attempts from the Bangkok native, seemingly immune to them as her elbow was hyperextended beyond normal range of motion. Ishige, sensing that joint locks were futile, again went to the back and decided that a choke was the best option.
The debutant battled with everything she had to fight off her opponent’s efforts, but it was only a matter of time before “Tinydoll” wrapped her arm under Dea’s chin and squeezed, forcing a reluctant tap from a very game opponent.
That smile soon returned, as Ishige was declared the victor with another first-round stoppage at the 2:39 mark. Full of charisma, and showcasing her will to entertain with a memorable walk-in, Ishige could be the complete package, given that her skills have now taken her to 2-0.
Dea will not be pleased at the result, but her fighting spirit was admirable in taking this bout on late notice and battling through some tough spots. She starts her mixed martial arts career at 0-1, but will undoubtedly be back in the near future.