Angelie Sabanal, 28, of the Philippines made a successful ONE Championship debut on March 24, 2018. She defeated crowd favorite Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige, 28, of Thailand at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand via unanimous decision.
“Rika Ishige gave me a tough test,” Sabanal said after the fight. “My opponent withstood everything I threw at her. Win or lose, this match against her will be beneficial to my growth as a martial artist in this sport and in ONE Championship.”
Sabanal and Ishige competed in the strawweight division. Their bout was the only female match at “ONE: Iron Will,” which also marked the Filipino fighter’s debut as a professional mixed martial artist.
“Right now, I can’t describe the feeling because this was my debut in ONE Championship and as a pro,” Sabanal stated. “She was the more experienced fighter inside the cage, but I managed to pull off the victory in her hometown.”
Before Sabanal, Ishige faced two Filipino opponents namely Jomary Torres, 21, and Rome Trinidad, 20. After losing to Torres at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors,” the Thai-Japanese fighter defeated Trinidad at “ONE: Warriors of the World.”
While Sabanal just started building her professional MMA record at 1 win and 0 loss, Ishige had her record downgraded to 3 wins and 2 losses after “ONE: Iron Will.” The former, who hails from Cagayan de Oro City, remarked, “Having this kind of exposure, now I know what it felt like to be on the global stage.”
“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches at Mindanao Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts for pushing me to my limit in training,” Sabanal said. “Without them, I don’t think that I would be in this position. My focus right now is to go back to the gym and improve my game for my future matches in this promotion.”
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring the bout between Ishige and Torres in 2017: