Jackie Buntan has always wanted to be the best Muay Thai striker on the planet, and if she wins the inaugural ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title at ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on 22 April, the Filipino-American will prove that she is just that.
But first, she has to get past dangerous Muay Thai practitioner Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell.
“Being able to compete for the inaugural [ONE] Strawweight Muay Thai World Title fills me with gratitude. I envisioned this moment for so long that I have to remember and be grateful for all the years of growth it took me to get to this stage,” Buntan said.
“This fight is as much for me as it is for fight fans and my family. Becoming the ONE World Champion will only prove that I’m on the right path in the life I’m creating.”
Knowing her opponent is vital as she prepares to step inside the Circle for the fourth time. Unlike her previous contests, the stakes are much higher, and she won’t underestimate the Thailand-based Swede.
Buntan pointed out that dealing with an aggressive fighter like Sundell changed the way she prepares for fights. After all, the Fairtex athlete’s relentless forward pressure led to a third-round knockout victory against Diandra Martin at ONE: FULL CIRCLE. However, Buntan believes that Sundell’s aggression could also be her downfall.
“As I watched Smilla’s debut performance, I noticed holes in her forward pressure, which will allow me to make her make mistakes. To become the strawweight champion, I will avoid playing into Smilla’s game,” the 23-5 Buntan said.
Even if she already has a sound strategy, it’s easier said than done because Sundell has 32 career victories, with 22 coming by knockout. The 17-year-old fighter has also defeated a male competitor.
Buntan, however, has the upper hand in terms of experience in The Home of Martial Arts. She scored wins in all of her three bouts last year, defeating Wondergirl, Ekaterina Vandaryeva, and Daniela Lopez.
However, she’ll welcome all challengers should she win the belt and have to defend it.
“When I win the world title, there is an array of great fighters in my division. The division is still new, so I would like to see who climbs up the ranks,” Buntan said.
But before entertaining that thought, Buntan must overcome a battle-hardened fighter in Sundell, with whom she shared this message:
“Hello, Smilla. I look forward to meeting you in the cage very soon!”Download the ONE Super App and visit ONEFC.com to stay updated with the latest news on ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic, which goes down on 22 April at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.