Filipino-American striker Jackie Buntan believes she is on an equal footing with Thai rising star Wondergirl Fairtex as far as muay thai arsenal is concerned.
But Buntan, who is of Filipino descent, will rely on her wits in the Circle, an instrument she considered to be a difference-maker when they meet next Friday, Feb. 26, in ONE: Fists of Fury at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I’m not trying to sound cocky, just training with Bryan [Popejoy] for so long I’ve developed a higher fight IQ than where I was a year ago. Even during quarantine, I took that time to be as consistent as possible and sharpen the tools I already have, and sharpen the fight IQ,” said Buntan, who holds a 9-3 muay thai record.
“I think my brain really [is my biggest asset], being able to make smart decisions in there. That’s going to be the difference.”
The 23-year-old Buntan is expecting a “good and technical fight” against Wondergirl, 21, who had two explosive wins in August last year.
Wondergirl, who has a 34-16-2 muay thai record, stunned Fil-Am KC Carlos with a second-round stoppage on August 28 last year, which was only a week after a successful debut against Australian Brooke Farrell by way of knockout.
Adding some “new tools” at hand, Buntan wants to display a patient approach with her counter-fighting style compare to Wondergirl’s aggressive offense with straight shots, something the Fil-Am muay thai specialist had observed during film review sessions.
This will mark Buntan’s debut in the professional level with ONE Championship in the hopes of following the footsteps of Boxing Works teammate and pal Janet Todd, the current atomweight kickboxing champion.