Filipino-American Jackie Buntan is hoping to make a lasting impression ahead of her ONE Championship debut on Friday, Feb. 26.
Buntan is set to face Thai rising star Wondergirl Fairtex in their strawweight muay thai bout in ONE: Fists of Fury at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The Fil-Am striker is expected to follow the path of no less than atomweight kickboxing champion Janett Todd, who is also Buntan’s sparring partner.
“Ever since my training partner, Janet Todd, joined ONE Championship, it was pretty much on my radar,” said Buntan. “The end goal is, of course, to get that belt. 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.”
Todd, who is also the No. 2 ranked muay thai fighter, is Buntan’s chief sparring partner at Boxing Works in Los Angeles, California under the guidance of renowned coach Bryan Popejoy.
Todd captured the atomweight kickboxing belt a year after joining ONE Super Series in 2019, a moment that lit a huge fire in Buntan’s heart.
“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, my coaches, so that really lit a fire in me,” said Buntan, who holds a 9-3 muay thai record.
“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.”
The 23-year-old Buntan will face a younger opponent in Wondergirl, 21, who holds a 34-16-2 muay thai record.
Wondergirl recently took down Fil-Am KC Carlos with a second-round stoppage in August 28 last year, which was only a week after an explosive debut against Australian Brooke Farrell by way of knockout.