ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan’s success has come, in no small part, as a result of her heritage and her background.
“The Panda” is a proud native of China and her country’s culture of hard work and dedication has proved essential in her journey as a mixed martial artist.
“I love China. I am just a very simple girl who is chasing my dream,” the 30-year-old says in an interview with ONE Championship.
“Chinese people are good at learning, and are willing to try their best. I think this is what I learned from my country.”
Xiong started out her athletic career as a competitive weightlifter in Shandong Province, then took up boxing in Beijing, where she excelled and became part of the Chinese national team.
Her desire to succeed and represent her nation started back in those days boxing for her country, and that desire burns even stronger today as Xiong, the ONE Women’s Strawweight Champion, leads the way as the first-ever mixed martial arts world champion from China.
“They are behind me, like they are my rock,” she says of her fellow countrymen and women.
“It gives me the strength to fight my battles.”
Xiong’s journey was focused on her becoming the ONE world champion. But now she has the title, her job has changed. She has to defend her title, her honour and her status as a Chinese world champion.
It is a different kind of pressure, but it is one that she is relishing ahead of her upcoming title defence against Samara Santos at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON in Shanghai on 8 September.
“I would not say there is no pressure at all. But yes, in a positive way, my people always make me do a better job,” Xiong explains.
“Sometimes, it is not that difficult to reach the top, but remaining on top is the most difficult thing to do. The world is hearing my voice from China, but I cannot do this without my people’s support.”
As well as retaining her title, Xiong is determined to inspire others from her country to chase their dreams and succeed, just as she has.
“You cannot inspire people if you do not get inspired by them first,” she offers.
“I wish to make more people in this world see the power, the skills, and the faces of Chinese people in mixed martial arts.”
“Martial arts is getting more and more popular in China. What I do is show people what they can do as well.”
Xiong will compete on home soil when she defends her title on 8 September, and victory will only serve to strengthen her reputation as Chinese martial arts’ leading light.
UFC St Petersburg: Look out for an 18/1 hat-trick of KOs in Russia
The Top 5 ONE Championship performances from the first quarter of 2019
Gurdarshan Mangat reveals how Vitor Belfort inspired him to change his life
‘We are f****d!’ Benfica fan travels to WRONG Frankfurt for Europa League tie
‘The greatest comeback I’ve ever seen’: Michael Jordan hails Tiger Woods’ dramatic Masters triumph
‘It’s almost a done deal’: Islam Makhachev says Abu Dhabi UFC show is close to being announced
Son Heung-Min: 5 things you need to know about South Korean star who fired Spurs into UCL semis
The Russians are coming: 7 Russian MMA stars who are tearing up the opposition
Messi masterclass: Lionel Messi fires brace as Barcelona reach Champions League semis
‘He’s nowhere near the world’s best right now’: Twitter reacts to De Gea’s howler against Barcelona
Rich Franklin joins the UFC Hall of Fame
UFC London: Nathaniel Wood media day interview
UFC London: Dominick Reyes media day interview
UFC London: Jack Marshman media day interview
UFC London: Jorge Masvidal media day interview
UFC London: Volkan Oezdemir media day interview
UFC London: Leon Edwards media day interview
UFC London: Danny Roberts media day interview
UFC London: Darren Till media day interview
UFC Prague: Dave Shaw post-event interview
Live Event Coverage
Whether it's The FA Cup Final or a UFC world title fight, covering live sport is an integral part of...
I’ve managed websites, worked on launches, managed brands and delivered content to digital platforms throughout my career.
Content For Print
I'm experienced at filing copy to tight deadlines and delivering 'on the whistle' reports, often directly from the events themselves.
As well as delivering written content, I can also shoot and edit video, as well as live-stream media events and...
I love working with brands and outlets that share my passion for sport and legitimate sports coverage. Get in touch...