May 21, 2024

Filipino-American rising Muay Thai star Jackie Buntan has earned a possible slot for the inaugural ONE women’s strawweight Muay Thai world championship, which could be scheduled by Asia’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the future.

The 23-year-old Buntan, who currently lives in San Diego, California with her family, earned a majority decision win over Ekaterina Vandaryeva in their recent encounter at ONE on TNT 4 series at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Buntan broke down her opponent’s movements like a surgeon, as she calculated Vandaryeva’s every move, closed the distance with precision, and added a pivotal decision win to her record.

Some fans, however, did not agree with the decision, saying Vandaryeva should have won on the scorecards.

The winsome fighter from Belarus was the more experienced fighter having gained more than 60 kickboxing bouts and collected Muay Thai IFMA world and European belts before joining ONE Championship.

“We both know who was the winner of this fight,” said Vandaryeva in her post-fight Instagram post.

“I think I scored the clear shots which were landing, which helped me out with the scorecards going in my favor,” Buntan responded in a post-fight interview.

Earlier, Buntan said she is especially grateful for all the support she is recei-ving from Filipinos, despite having yet to visit Manila where her siblings were born.

Buntan’s family migrated to the U.S. before she was born. But despite being born an American, the fighter was raised with Filipino values in a predominantly Filipino household. – Harley F. Palangchao