ONE Championship: Mei Yamaguchi Determined to Get a Third Crack At The Atomweight Belt
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 04, 2018 11:52 AM
“My dream, goal, and vision to have a world title wrapped around my waist are still alive,” - Mei Yamaguchi
Every mixed martial artist dreams of becoming a world champion, especially Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi.
The Japanese veteran, who has been competing for 11 years, seemed destined to become a world champion after dominating the regional scene.
However, she fell short in two separate bids to capture the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship from Singaporean rival “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
Yamaguchi lost to the 22-year-old via unanimous decision at ONE: ASCENT TO POWER in May 2016. It was an epic showdown that would later win multiple “Bout Of The Year” honors.
Two years later, she suffered the same fate, yielding to Lee in their rematch for the belt at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS this past May.
Although she failed to bring home the gold on two occasions, giving up is not an option for the unwavering Yamaguchi.
In fact, Yamaguchi plans to kickstart her quest back to the title this coming Friday, 7 December, and plans to prove she is worthy of a third shot at the coveted ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.
“My dream, goal, and vision to have a world title wrapped around my waist are still alive,” the 35-year-old Tokyo native said.
“This is another step, or another journey, to elevate my status as a contender for the title.”
She is scheduled to square off against Filipina breakout star Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, which takes place at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
With the intention of vying for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship for an unprecedented third time, Yamaguchi will not just be looking for a win.
The Japanese competitor believes she needs to make a strong statement in order to achieve her goal.
“My goal is to be a world champion,” she stated.
“I think it’s a really great chance to show my skills and make a statement that I want to fight for the title. A finish will make it very clear that I deserve to be next in line.”
Yamaguchi faces a strong, aggressive opponent in Torres, whose relentless approach and excellent all-around skills make the 22-year-old a tough proposition for anyone in the weight class.
Despite having a significant experience advantage over her Filipina foe, Yamaguchi is not taking Torres lightly.
“She is strong and physical. I know Jomary Torres because she is good at defying odds,” the Tokyo resident explained. “She has beaten the likes of Rika Ishige and April Osenio. Definitely, my opponent is so dangerous.”
Knowing that it will not be an easy task, Yamaguchi will have to dig deep to keep her status in the rankings.
“My story will not end here. I don’t want to be complacent in this fight. From start to finish, I have to be spectacular,” she declared.
“Like what I’ve said, I want to be a champion. If I wish to become a champion, I have to beat my opponent in decisive fashion.”