July 25, 2024

Philippine female mixed martial arts champion Gina Iniong-Araos is taking time off from her professional MMA career to focus on her family.

Currently ranked number five in the women’s atomweight division in ONE Championship, Araos tied the knot with her longtime partner, Richard, in October last year, and are currently expecting their first baby.

Araos, who has nine wins and four losses as a professional MMA fighter, has contemplated retirement after she learned of her pregnancy, but the Filipina and her head coach Mark Sangiao decided that now is not the time to make such a life-changing decision. 

“She thought about retirement, but I told her, ‘Don’t think about it yet.’ I told her to focus on her pregnancy and then maybe she can make decisions after if she really wants to stop,” Sangiao said.

“I told her that it is difficult to decide right now. I’ve seen a lot of people retire, then come out of retirement. It’s best for her to just focus on her well-being and pregnancy, and then worry about the next steps in her career later.”

Araos is at the peak of her career now.

She won a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medal in kickboxing last December, and then she earned a convincing decision victory over Asha Roka at ONE; Fire & Fury in January.

Then came the news of her becoming a mother, and it changed everything. 

“Even before the SEA Games, she was telling me that she wanted to focus on her family. She said they’re getting older and they already want to have a child. This is such a huge blessing for her. She wanted this for a long time, and it was given,” Sangiao said.

It may be a long time before fans see Araos step back into the circle, but she has the full support of ONE Championship and Team Lakay as she begins a new journey in her life. – ONE release