ONE EMPOWER: Xiong Jing Nan Reveals She Wanted Opponent Michelle Nicolini to Be Her Teacher

Published 08/31/2021, 2:29 PM EDT


Straw weight titlist Xiong Jing Nan will put her belt at stake against Michelle Nicolini in the headliner of One: Empower on September 3. As the inaugural champion of the division, Jing Nan has an alluring 15-2 resume which clearly dwarfs Nicolini’s record of 6-2.

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However, the nearing matchup seems way beyond the limits of statistics. Coming from the BJJ background, Nicolini is one of the best in fighting on the ground. She is a BJJ Hall-of-Famer, and that clearly sets her apart from several other women in the division, including ‘The Panda’.

Although Xiong Jing Nan herself is difficult to deal with, the champion still has her respect for Nicolini. Ahead of their encounter, Jing Nan connected with Essentially Sports in the pre-fight press conference and shed her views over her rival.

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Xiong Jing Nan said, “I wanna show my respect to Nicolini one more time. Actually, I heard about Michelle when I first joined Evolve MMA. I know she was a fantastic grappler. She was a master of jiu-jitsu. I always tried to have a conversation with her to learn from her to see her as a good BJJ teacher.”

“But eventually, we come to this fight as opponent to each other. I am actually preparing for some very new techniques, very new skill set for this fight. And I wanna show that in my upcoming fight.”

With all the respect shown, meeting each other inside the cage can be a different affair. Being the only two women to have vanquished Angela Lee in pro-MMA, Jing Nan and Nicolini might produce the biggest fight of the year by locking horns. Here’s a deeper look into their fight.

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Xiong Jing Nan vs Michelle Nicolini- War Time

Following a loss against Angela Lee in a rematch in 2019, Xiong Jing Nan is back to the win-track with her latest victory coming against Tiffany Teo from December 2020. That said, she has appeared invincible in the straw weight division. Jing Nan is an elite striker and has also added BJJ in her arsenal to pose more threats for her opponent.

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Hence, Michelle Nicolini will have to push her limits. She is just eight-fights old in MMA. However, her variant experience in the combat world will cite prominent chances in her favor. The Brazilian fighter can rightly shock the world and become the second women’s straw weight titleholder in One Championship. So, all of it will go down to become a reality after a few days, as we see all the two of the two greatest female fighters unveil their best side in the cage.

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Who do you see winning the clash? Xiong Jing Nan or Michelle Nicolini?

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Raj Sarkar

2355 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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