Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton is pumped up for her return fight in the Philippines next month.
The boxer and mixed martial arts fighter is looking forward to go up the ring in Manila once again, but this time against an opponent who is off to an explosive start in her own MMA career.
Julaton (2-1) emerged victorious against Egyptian Walaa Abbas Mohamed Kamaly by a uninanimous decision in December last year. That was her last fight in the Philippines. This time, the Filipino-American will be taking on Russian Irina Mazepa in a flyweight clash in the ONE Championship’s “Spirit of the Champions” on Dec. 11.
“This fight was supposed to happen last year, and she wasn’t [able] to pull it off because of an injury. It was a fight that was ready to be made and I’m glad it’s happening in Manila. I am looking forward to this fight. I’m pumped,” Julaton said.
A former boxing champion, Julaton shifted to MMA where she started her career with two wins before she was defeated by Ann Osman in last year’s fight in Dubai. Osman, on the other hand, was knocked out in the opening round of her fight against Mazepa last October.
“Iriza Mazepa is a powerful striker for sure. To see what she did to Osman in Malaysia in front of a sold-out hometown crowd was spectacular and proved Mazepa can fight and has no pressure as the visitor,” Julaton said.
The Russian has been dominating the ring in her debut, a fact that Julaton has not missed. Still, the 35-year-old is confident of her chances.
“[She] is a powerful striker for sure. But even when she won the fight, my heart didn’t skip a beat,” Julaton said. “I know that she’s strong strong. She’s experienced in the stand-up, but I also know, too, that she’s limited in certain areas and I see that as an advantage on my side.”
To prepare for her upcoming fight, Julaton said she has been training hard—particularly with her ground game—with Coach Ricky Lundell.
“I’ve been training four times a week to integrate my grappling techniques to my overall game. I’m working hard with my coach, Ricky Lundell, who has helped me improve my ground game,” she said.
Julaton, who has several fights left with ONE Championship, said she’s ready to get on the ring with guns blazing.
“I’m looking forward in finishing off with some really, really homerun knockout performances,” Julaton said. “Like when I take care of Irina, I want to call Ann Osman like you know, it’s up to the play. Let’s get it on.”