Ayaka Miura radiates determination to triumph in atomweight debut at ONE 165

By BJPENN.COM Staff - January 19, 2024

Ayaka Miura is gearing up for a significant shift in her professional MMA career.

Ayaka Miura

At ONE 165 on January 28 she makes her atomweight debut. This highly anticipated bout against compatriot Itsuki Hirata takes place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

Miura, originally competing in the strawweight division, is embracing the challenge of dropping to 115 pounds.

She did not take this strategic move lightly. In fact, Miura initially had reservations about the transition.

“I was very surprised when I got the offer to fight at atomweight,” she said.

However, with the support of her coaching team at Tribe Tokyo MMA, the Japanese heroine is eager to test her skills in her new weight class.

“I talked to my mentor, Mr. [Ryo] Chonan, and also my trainer, Mr. [Toshiyuki] Horie, about whether or not I could fight in this division, and they said I could,” she said.

“This makes me feel very confident. I believe in my ability and [the input from] my mentors and friends. And I think I can win. That is why I accepted the offer.”

Beyond the immediate challenge at hand, “Zombie” is excited about the prospect of facing fresh opponents in the division.

“I know there are more challenges and ambitions for me, so I really appreciate the chance,” Miura said.

Ayaka Miura still eyes rematch against Xiong Jing Nan

Despite her current focus on atomweight, Ayaka Miura remains open to the possibility of returning to strawweight.

One opponent lingers in her mind — ONE Women’s Strawweight MMA World Champion Xiong Jing Nan.

The two clashed in January 2022. There, Xiong successfully defended her crown by unanimous decision.

It’s clear that Miura carries the desire for redemption. In fact, the memory of that encounter fuels her.

“To be honest, my main goal is still to defeat Xiong Jing Nan, like it always has been. So I will always make that my priority,” she said.

One of the driving factors behind Miura’s decision to drop to atomweight is the prospect of contending for 26 pounds of gold in her new weight class.

Success in her maiden atomweight appearance at ONE 165 could put her within arm’s reach for a World Title shot.

“My goal is to be a World Champion, and it hasn’t come true yet. Until I reach this goal, I will keep doing it. I cannot stop this until I make my dream come true,” she said.


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