“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan has one simple wish – to be the greatest martial artist of her time.
On Saturday, 20 January, she will get the opportunity to make her wish come true, when the Beijing, China resident is scheduled to meet undefeated Singaporean athlete Tiffany “No Chill” Teo for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship.
The epic showdown takes place as the main event of ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia.
Xiong has the opportunity to not only become the first-ever ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion, but also the first China-born world champion inside the cage. She has the chance to make history, and also bring honor to both her family and nation.
“I want to make my parents proud of me, because every time my parents see me winning a competition, they are really happy,” she says.
“The second thing is that I want more people to know about China, and let more people know that Chinese people also have the ability to stand on the highest podium for everything.
So far, she has been making her country immensely proud.
Xiong originally embarked on her athletic career with weightlifting as a young child in China’s Shandong province, but changed course when fell in love with boxing. After success in that arena, she later relocated to Beijing by herself to take on the greatest test of a martial artist – a career in the cage.
“Martial arts is a challenging, extreme sport without limits,” she explains. “It could also be said to be one of the most versatile sports. It includes punches, kicks, knees, elbows, throws, and so on.
“I am a person who likes to challenge myself, who wants to soar higher and further. So I challenge myself to make what is impossible possible. Even if there is no hope for success, I try my best to create that hope.”
“The Panda” has certainly come a long way in a short amount of time. She quickly added a sensational ground element to her striking base, taking up Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even becoming a China Open BJJ Champion.
Also, her results in the cage speaks for itself. Ever since her professional debut in August 2014, she has compiled a marvelous record of 13-1, with more than half of her wins coming via knockout.
Xiong proved to be too much for the Filipina, as she tripped her to the ground, sunk in a tight guillotine choke, and then finally stood up and finished Osenio on the feet with explosive punches inside the first round.
That victory earned her a shot a the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title, which she will vie for against Teo, a decorated Singapore national champion and well-rounded martial artist who has stopped five of her seven opponents.
In preparation for the world title bout, “The Panda” returned to Thailand to train with Phuket Top Team, in an effort to prepare a strategy and round out the rest of her game.
Though she cannot necessarily predict the outcome, Xiong is looking forward to capturing the belt, and make a statement for China’s booming martial arts scene.
“I am proud. Very proud. But my pride is without exaggeration. My pride cannot be moved. It only grows. I want more people to see Chinese athletes at the highest stage,” she says.
“I am looking forward to the match. I do not know what is going to happen, or how the match is going to end, but it is going to be exciting.”