Following an impressive win at ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 20 January, newly-crowned strawweight queen “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan (14-1) has emerged as one of the biggest martial arts superstars in the world.
The 30-year-old Chinese martial arts prodigy had a fantastic performance, as she dominated Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo (7-1) in the inaugural match for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship.
Although the previously-unbeaten Teo showed tremendous heart and resilience, Xiong’s blistering offensive attack and striking superiority was simply too much for her to withstand. “The Panda” stopped the Singaporean via TKO at the 2:17 mark of the fourth round to claim the belt. With the victory, she also became the first China-born world champion in the cage.
Here are five important things you need to know about your new strawweight queen.
#1 She Owes All Her Success To Her Father
Xiong always had a great relationship with her father, and attributes much of her success to him.
She credits him for instilling strong moral values in her, like being brave, confident and disciplined. Also, she is grateful that he taught her some of life’s most important lessons, like never running away from difficulties, and always taking responsibility for her actions.
“The Panda” points to a childhood episode, where she climbed a neighbor’s house to pick fruit and broke her hand following a fall from the roof. Her father did not take her to the hospital at first, instead wanting to acknowledge her mistake and use it was a learning experience.
“He taught me some principles,” she recalls of the experience. “He asked me if it felt painful first, and then asked me why I did it. Then, he said: ‘This is what you get, you have to be responsible for what you have done.’”
#2 She Protects The Defenseless
Another important lesson Xiong learned from her father was that everyone is equal. Combined with her love for old Chinese martial arts movies, she always felt compelled to stand up for those who were those who couldn’t do so for themselves as a modern-day hero.
Even in her local community, the Chinese heroine has been known to intervene whenever there is any mistreatment of the people.“The Panda” often witnessed the misuse of power in her community, especially against elderly folk on the streets who were trying to make an honest living. One day, after a certain episode, she had enough, and decided to do something about it. She has been doing it ever since.
“We have some city inspectors. Sometimes, even though they are doing things by the book, I feel they go too far. There are times when I saw them confiscate items from some elderly street vendors, or knock their things over,” she explains.
“I cannot bear seeing that, so sometimes, I would go up to the inspectors’ car, and take those things back. I would carry things down one-by-one for them. This is something that comes out of your heart. You cannot pretend or disguise feelings like this. This is something I feel deep inside my bones. I cannot change it in my life.”
#3 She Comes From A World-Class Martial Arts Background
From when she was just a child, Xiong had all the makings of an elite athlete.
“The Panda” began with weightlifting in China’s Shandong province, but soon fell in love with the sport of boxing. She joined the provincial women’s boxing team at the age of 18, and eventually represented China at the international level.
Her martial arts fixation did not end there, however, as she eventually trained in various disciplines. Apart from being a fierce striker, Xiong is also an accomplished grappler, having earned a gold medal at the 2017 China Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament.
Now, “The Panda” trains with the world-famous Phuket Top Team in Thailand, where she continues to polish her versatile skill set. Combined with her immense strength and power, Xiong’s diverse background makes her one of the best martial artists in ONE, and the world.
#4 Her Journey To ONE
Prior to joining ONE in December of 2017, Xiong was already a dominant force. She compiled an impressive professional record of 12-1, which she tallied through her vast competition experience in mainland China.
Most of Xiong’s victories have come by way of knockout, which can be attributed to her excellent striking background with power from weightlifting. But she is also capable of finishing bouts on the ground, given her grappling pedigree, and does have a few submission wins to her name. Additionally, she has just one decision loss in her three and a half year career.
Considered one of the top female martial arts talents in the great country of China, “The Panda” made headlines when she joined ONE, as the whole world was eager to see how she would perform on the global stage.
#5 She’s Just Getting Started
Xiong joined ONE riding a huge wave of momentum. Two TKOs and a world title later, it’s plain to see that she’s doing just fine, and seems destined to build a lasting legacy.
“The Panda” brought an eight-bout win streak into the ONE cage when she made her promotional debut last December opposite Team Lakay’s April Osenio. She made quick work of her Filipino opponent, finishing her in the very first round with a relentless barrage of punches against the cage fence.
In the bout that followed, Xiong challenged Teo for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship, which she captured in a thrilling performance by stopping her Singaporean foe with strikes in the fourth round.
Xiong has experienced a phenomenal start to her career in ONE, achieving success brought about by years of hard work and training. But many more challenges await this talented Chinese athlete, and fans will surely be anticipating the next time she enters the ONE cage.