Ana Julaton’s 2015 schedule is already starting to look a little crowded. She has a boxing match booked for Friday in Mexico, but also hopes to be back in the cage a few weeks later and wants to fight at ONE FC: Valor of Champions in Manila.
“Of course I want to be on the card. I’m proud to be Filipina, I love fighting in the Philippines, and it brings me so much pride to perform in front of all my kababayans. Plus, I heard Manny Pacquiao might be there, which would be awesome.”
ONE FC’s event at the SM Mall of Asia Arena is set for April 27, which would involve a fast turn around after that boxing match in March, but Julaton likes to stay active and believes she will be able to successfully combine both careers in 2015.
“Activity is always good for fighters and since December I have been a gym rat, I love training for fights. I have a boxing match scheduled for March 6 in Durango, Mexico, and my boxing promoter, Allan Tremblay, recently visited me in Las Vegas. He had been fighting cancer for five years and has beaten it and he plans on having me fight for another boxing world title later this year.”
Julaton has already won multiple world titles in boxing and she hopes to be wearing ONE FC gold soon.
“I want a rematch with Ann Osman and would love to have it for the title, in a 5 x 5-minute round fight. The people of the Philippines want to see the rematch and I believe everyone in Asia would love to see that fight. Let’s make this happen, there won’t be any problems on my side. We are ready to go.”
Osman already has a fight booked in Kuala Lumpur next month, but these two are clearly the biggest names in ONE FC’s 125-pound division and Julaton is still upset at dropping a split decision when they fought in Dubai last August.
“I feel like I won that fight because in my heart, I felt like she gave up. She was in the best shape of her life and I saw it, that look of not having an answer. Even the commentators sensed that when they mentioned about her losing steam during the fight, even though she had been doing a lot of conditioning.”
Julaton also feels that she did more damage, which is something the ONE FC scoring criteria puts a lot of emphasis on.
“I’ve done effective damage while I was standing, I threw a devastating right hand that had her wobbled across the cage and almost knocked her out, even while I was on the ground. I reversed her a couple times and gained top control and threw crushing axe kicks to her face while I was defending her failed submission attempt.”
Julaton is a seasoned boxer, but was a relative newcomer to MMA when she made her professional debut last May, and says she is still learning the tricks of her new trade.
“I’ve only been in MMA for less than a year and so far, it’s been an amazing journey. I’ve fought in Asia for the first time, learned more about the sport, and have met some incredible people along the way, but the transition from boxing to MMA has shown me that the two sports are completely different.”
While she has proved a fast learner in terms of wrestling and the ground game, Julaton has struggled to find openings in which to really let her hands go inside the cage and says this has been a big part of the learning process.
“Since I come from a strong boxing background, my previous opponents haven’t wanted to box with me in the cage, but after a couple of MMA camps, my boxing coach, Angelo Reyes, sought out coach Ricky Lundell and collaborated ideas with him on boxing, wrestling, grappling, and MMA. The transition now has become clearer and I’m understanding how to effectively use my world-class jabs, straight cross, hooks, and upper-cuts in the cage.”
Boxing has given Julaton the opportunity to become a world champion and to travel all over North and South America to compete, but she had never fought in the Philippines before signing with ONE FC and says that this is the best part about her new life as a mixed martial artist.
“ONE FC has made ground-breaking growth in the MMA world. I’m happy to be a part of it and being able to fight in Manila means everything to me. The Filipino community has supported me back when I was an amateur boxer in the USA, this is my family’s home country and it makes me happy to represent my heritage.”
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