After her impressive start in The Home of Martial Arts got derailed nearly seven months ago, Angelie “D Explorer” Sabanal is preparing to make a definitive statement in her first assignment this 2019.
Sabanal is slated to duke it out with Itsuki “Strong Heart Fighter” Hirata of Japan in a three-round atomweight affair in one of the preliminary bouts of ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST, which takes place at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China on 15 June
The Filipina breakout star’s quest of making it two in a row after joining the ONE Championship roster was cut short by Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol at ONE: WARRIOR’S DREAM in Jakarta, Indonesia this past November, yielding to the hometown hero by unanimous decision.
With her quest to go back to the winning lane, Sabanal is determined to pick up the pieces and redeem herself on the most prestigious stage of martial arts competition.
“My loss last November was more of a blessing in disguise because it showed me my weaknesses and the things that I need to work on,” said Sabanal.
“I learned a lot after that fight in Jakarta. Now I’m even more dedicated as I want to achieve more in this sport.”
Sabanal stressed that her previous setback was already just a part of her past, the former Philippine national muay thai silver medalist also shared that her seven-month lay-off gave her tons of time to improve her overall game.
“I have been busy and I make sure to work on my overall game. After my match in Jakarta, I was back to training to work on my weaknesses in that bout,” Sabanal shared.
“I know that with determination, everything is possible. That is what I will show in China.”
While Sabanal’s is currently in high spirits, her quest of collecting his second win inside the ONE Circle won’t be a walk in the park.
The woman standing in her path to re-enter the winner’s column is Hirata. The Japanese prospect who holds an unblemished record of three wins without a loss will be making her debut with the World’s largest martial arts organization next month.
“I don’t know much about her but I know that she’s very dangerous in the ground,” said Sabanal.
“That’s why I’m working on all aspects of my game so I will be ready with whatever she throws at me in our match.”
Although a tough test awaits her in Shanghai, Sabanal is driven to reignite with her impressive beginning, as she looks to climb the atomweight ladder.
“I want to show that I am improving everytime I enter the circle. I started off well and I know that I can get my winning form back and pick up where I left off,” said Sabanal.
“Expect a faster and more well-rounded Angelie Sabanal on June 15.”