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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Buntan to represent Filipino heritage in Colorado fight

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JACKIE BUNTAN may have been born and raised in the United States, but she is proud to represent her Filipino heritage on the global stage of combat sports.

The 25-year-old heroine from Redondo Beach in California will get another chance to do that on May 5 as part of the historic ONE Fight Night 10 card-ONE Championship’s maiden offering on American soil.

Buntuan will take on Australia’s Diandra Martin in a three-round strawweight Muay Thai clash in a card at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado, consisting of 11 matches and featuring 22 fighters from 14 different countries.

Being the lone Filipina gives Buntan some sense of pride and motivation to fly her motherland’s flag proud and high.

“I think it’s extremely important. Not just for me, or being in Muay Thai or being an athlete, that goes for whatever a Filipino-American is doing,” Buntan said.

“Whether you’re an athlete or a non-athlete, we all have it in our hearts that we’re all very passionate,” she said. “Filipinos are very passionate. They show their hearts on their sleeves, they have heart and they have grit. When you mix the two with combat sport, that’s where you’ll find greatness.”

She added: “Like [Manny] Pacquiao, [he’s] the No. 1 example, he has all of that, passion, grit, determination, resilience, I think it’s embedded in all of us.”

For Buntan, it’s more than a fight as she desires to inspire with the providential platform she has right now.

“Any kind of job, the fact that you’re able to immigrate here, get accustomed to the new lifestyle, the American lifestyle, make it work for you and be successful at that, that’s such a tall order and I think it’s super important to have more role models showcasing that whether in sports, the medical field, the business field, wherever,” she said.

“The fact that we all have similarities and know that someone like us can do it inspires more people, more young people in the world to believe in themselves, challenge themselves and be able to go after things that are hard,” Buntan added.

It’s a must-win for Buntan as a victory could move closer to a potential rematch with Smilla Sundell for the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship.

With an opponent like Martin who’s known for her pressure offense, Buntan sees an opportunity to tighten her grip on the next shot at 26 pounds of gold.

“My fast hands will definitely be there, but I think they can just expect me to be an exciting fighter, I believe I am, so they can expect more excitement for this bout because I have new tools in my arsenal, a new style,” she said.

“I expect you guys to see the same Jackie with a different mode of style in between,” she added.

Filipino fight fans will get to enjoy the action from ONE Fight Night 10 on May 6 at 8:00 AM with its live broadcast at watch.onefc.com, as well as at One Sports and One Sports+ on Philippine television.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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