Jackielou “Jackie” Buntan, 23, of Redondo Beach, California, United States has joined ONE Championship. She is of Filipino descent and is one of the chief sparring partner of ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd, 35, of Hermosa Beach, California.
Buntan and Todd train at Boxing Works in Los Angeles, California under the tutelage of Bryan Popejoy. The Filipino-American striker said, “Ever since my training partner Janet Todd joined ONE Championship, it was pretty much on my radar.”
“The end goal is, of course, to get that belt,” Buntan continued. “Muay Thai is where my heart is at but I did sign up for both Muay Thai and kickboxing. That Muay Thai belt is on my radar.”
Born in Hermosa Beach to an American father and a Japanese mother, Todd joined ONE Championship in 2019 and became one of the strongest female athletes in the Singapore-based martial arts organization’s striking-only league ONE Super Series. In 2020, she dethroned then ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Stamp Fairtex, 23, of Thailand.
“It lit a huge fire in me,” Buntan recalled. “When she won that belt, it was right before the lockdown and at the time, I was supposed to make my debut.”
“That just got me so pumped to make my debut and represent myself, my gym (and) my coaches so that really lit a fire in me,” Buntan added. “Just seeing my friend, someone I’ve known for so long, who was able to achieve this, made me believe that I can achieve this as well.”
Buntan’s ONE Super Series debut will happen at “ONE: Fists of Fury” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on February 26, 2021. She will fight Wondergirl Fairtex of Thailand.
According to Buntan, she has not asked Todd too much about fighting in ONE Super Series because they are both in a camp and training. The Filipino-American fighter said, “We’ll talk about different parts of fight camp but most of it on a mental aspect.”
“She’s taught me to really just trust your training, your coaches and yourself, that we’re ready for anything and that we’ve seen it all in training,” Buntan said of Todd. “We just have to have confidence to do what we do.”