RISING Malaysian star Jihin 'Shadow Cat' Radzuan claimed the biggest victory of her young mixed martial arts career at ONE: Destiny Of Champions last Friday, 7 December.
The 20-year-old brilliantly executed a versatile game plan to defeat former ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger Jenny 'Lady GoGo' Huang.
Following three rounds of nonstop action inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, the local favorite earned a unanimous decision victory to extend her spotless record to 4-0.
“It was a long night,” she admitted. “In fact, the whole week felt pretty long.”
The Malaysian also admits she had a slow start.
After connecting with some punches in the opening seconds of the atomweight tilt, the bout quickly turned into a grappling battle.
Jihin, who trains out of Ultimate MMA Academy, managed to maintain control of the action and even threatened with guillotine chokes in the first stanza.
Nonetheless, something was amiss.
“I felt rusty in round one because it’s been a while since I fought in the cage,” the Johor Bahru resident said.
“The moment I entered the cage, however, I did not feel nervous anymore. Instead, [I felt] slight pressure as I was facing a former World Title challenger.
“My coach, Melvin ‘Overkill’ Yeoh, asked me how I was doing, and told me I looked really nervous and it wasn’t good. He told me to buckle up in the second round.”
Jihin kicked off the second frame by lighting up Huang with her striking arsenal — most notably, her punches and elbows.
Although Huang hit a takedown soon thereafter, 'Shadow Cat' reversed it. She tried to cause damage, but the Chinese athlete constantly threatened with submissions.
The Malaysian did well to defend from them, as well as a seemingly-tight triangle choke towards the end of the stanza.
“In the second round, I was striking a lot more,” Jihin said.
“I felt at home, and the triangle choke she attempted on me did not really make me [feel like I needed to] tap, although it looked like the bell saved me.
“Melvin told me I almost got submitted, but I told him I was already trying to escape.”
The third round started off better for 'Shadow Cat', who got the Malaysians on their feet with a superman punch.
She landed several jabs and overhands, alongside heavy elbows on the ground, in the clinch, and even in the stand-up.
Once the final bell rang, the judges tallied up their scorecards and awarded a unanimous decision victory in Jihin’s favor.
While she is happy to pick up the win, the local hero admitted it was not the dominant display she expected to put out.
“I think I could have done better. Even when I looked at my coach’s face, he did not look too happy,” she said.
“He’s never satisfied with my performances, and it keeps me hungrier at all times. My promise to him is to always be a better version of myself.”
Despite not being too overwhelmed with the victory, Jihin knows she has only left a bigger footprint in the heart of Malaysia’s martial arts fans.
She will look to build on her momentum in 2019, and perhaps vie for a shot at Angela Lee’s ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship.