Jihin Radzuan chalked up her biggest win yet in ONE Championship when she beat Japanese phenom Itsuki Hirata via split decision at ONE X.
The victory saw the Malaysian rising star take the No.5 spot in the atomweight rankings. There’s still a lot to do, but Radzuan believes she’s as close to being a world title contender than ever before.
In an interview with ONE Championship, Jihin Radzuan said she wants to prove that she’s one of the best fighters in the promotion. To do that, ‘Shadow Cat’ plans to put on the best show possible every time she steps inside the circle.
“I can’t beg for respect from people, but what I can do is to continuously prove them wrong in the circle. Given now that I’m in the top-five rankings, I’m not far from the belt fight. So I think in about four or five fights, more people can start acknowledging and respecting my skills.”
The 23-year-old was hailed as an underdog against the surging Hirata, who was undefeated heading into ONE X. Their fight, however, saw Radzuan dominate the Japanese judoka.
Jihin Radzuan claimed the edge in all areas, keeping Hirata at bay with her striking and stifling her opponent with grappling. The win was also Jihin’s third in a row and her fourth in five matches since 2019.
Jihin Radzuan didn’t think much of Itsuki Hirata’s taunts
While Radzuan largely kept quiet throughout the build-up to ONE X, Hirata took it upon herself to deliver the trash talk.
Hirata said in media appearances that she would punish 'Shadow Cat'. Despite the taunts, Radzuan chose to remain respectful and even praised ‘Android 18’ in the build-up.
That attitude remained the same even after she beat Hirata at ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary show.
“I didn’t hold any grudge, nor did I have anything against her when she told me stuff like she’s going to kill me or what, because I think she said that out [for] publicity or [used it as] ways to promote the fight during the Japan press conference,” said Jihin.
Nevertheless, the Ultimate MMA Academy standout relished in her victory, which snapped Hirata’s perfect run.
“Of course, the win was even more significant because a lot of people claim that she’s [one of the best], and I showed people that this wasn’t the case.”
Jihin Radzuan will now turn her attention to her next outing, which could prove to be vital in her quest for a world title opportunity.