• Ayaka Miura predicts she will defeat Xiong Jing Nan via submission at ONE: Heavy Hitters
  • Avoiding striking exchanges with the champion is part of Miura's game plan
  • Xiong recently issued a stern warning to Miura about her apparent lack of KO power

Ayaka Miura is confident in her chances of capturing the women’s strawweight title when she faces Xiong Jing Nan in the main event of ONE: Heavy Hitters on Friday, January 14.

"I will go for it (submission win) if she (Xiong) lets her guard down. There’s a lot that goes into getting to the 'Ayaka Lock.' I think this time, the match will be different from the past [fights I’ve had],” Miura said.

The 31-year-old from Saitama, Japan had been ripping through the division when she entered the promotion in February 2019.

Argentinian Laura Balin was Miura’s first victim on her road to winning four straight fights in ONE Championship, taking home all victories via a scarf-hold armlock that she dubs the “Ayaka Lock”.

Miura’s fortitude was tested when she fought Tiffany Teo at ONE: King of the Jungle in February 2020.

Despite Miura’s proficiency on the mat, Teo kept moving forward with well-placed punches and allowed the Japanese fighter to burn through her stamina as Miura desperately attempted to bring the fight to the ground.

Teo won the fight when referee Olivier Coste called a stop to the bout in the dying moments of the third round, forcing Miura to rethink her game plan in her next fight.

Against Rayane Bastos, Miura was more patient and relaxed in finding her openings which allowed her to pull off a trip on her opponent that set up her ever-reliable Ayaka Lock, getting the win and the right to become Xiong’s next challenger.

“The Panda” previously responded to Miura’s callouts of her apparent lack of recent knockout victories and claimed that she will be showing the Japanese just how much power she has when they meet in the center of the ring.

Miura was more complimentary of the champion’s striking power in a recent interview, stating that she has been practicing on avoiding striking exchanges with Xiong and acknowledging her strengths as a grappler.

“I think her [Xiong Jing Nan] punches that swing from side to side are dangerous. I also think that the body punch that beat Angela Lee is powerful. I don’t think she’s a bad grappler because she was able to deal with Angela Lee when she was held down. She hasn’t shown it much in her fights, but I think she’s actually strong,” Miura mentioned.

With a golden opportunity in her midst, Miura will look to prove that she belongs among the top fighters in the women’s strawweight division.

ONE: Heavy Hitters will be streaming live on the ONE Super App and official ONE Championship YouTube channel at 8:30 PM SGT (7:30 AM ET in the United States).