ONE Championship: Despite falling short in Shanghai, Angelie Sabanal remains positive

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 19, 2019 11:01 AM
Despite falling short in Shanghai, Sabanal remains positive
“Right now, we’re headed back to the drawing board. We have to work more on my areas of improvement, especially in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and wrestling,” - Angelie Sabanal (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Despite Failing Short In Shanghai, Angelie Sabanal Remains Positive

After falling short in her return to ONE Championship, Filipina atomweight Angelie “D Explorer” Sabanal has vowed to come back stronger.

The Filipina suffered a first-round submission loss to Japanese debutante Itsuki “Strong Heart Fighter” Hirata in their preliminary bout at ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST, which took place from the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China on Saturday, 15 June.

Sabanal’s loss to Hirata was her second straight defeat as a professional mixed martial artist.

The women’s atomweight contest started off promising for “D Explorer,” as she connected with multiple kicks in the opening minutes of the match.

However, things turned upside down for the 29-year-old Cagayan de Oro City native when she was taken to the canvas. Seconds after she was on the mat, Hirata pulled off a wrenching Americana, which forced her to tap at the 2:59 mark of round one.

Despite her valiant effort, Sabanal admits the pressure got the best of her. The former Philippine national Muay Thai silver medalist also confesses that Hirata was simply the better lady that night.

“When I climbed into the ring, of course, there were nerves. But I got over it. We prepared hard for this match, but you know, it’s different in there," she said.

“The majority of my previous bouts were against strikers, although I do have experience with grapplers as well. We knew about Itsuki's game and we did our best to prepare for her style. But sadly, we fell short.

“I did everything I could, but Hirata is really good at what she does, and she was able to get the submission.”

Despite learning her lessons the hard way, Sabanal is determined to get back into the winner’s column.

The Filipina and her team plan to re-assess everything and review what went wrong on that fateful night in Shanghai.

“Right now, we’re headed back to the drawing board. We have to work more on my areas of improvement, especially in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission grappling, and wrestling,” she continued.

"These skills will be essential to my career moving forward. Hopefully, my team and I will be able to fix the holes in my game, and I can show the improvements in my next bout."

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