Xiong Jingnan and Michelle Nicolini

Phot credit to @armaanyounis on Twitter

Xiong Jingnan and Michelle Nicolini talk ONE: Empower strawweight title bout

ONE: Empower goes down on Friday, September 3rd, and emanates from Singapore Indoor Stadium. The broadcast transpires on the ONE Super App and the ONE Championship Youtube channel depending on your local listing.

Xiong Jingnan and Michelle Nicolini will battle for the ONE strawweight world championship in the champion and challenger roles, respectively.

This prizefight will top the marquee of this history-making show as ONE Championship promotes an all-women combat sports extravaganza.

Xiong Jingnan and Michelle Nicolini

Jingnan has held this belt since January 2018 and has defended it successfully multiple times through her title tenure. The first woman from China to hold major MMA gold looks to continue to blaze her trail. Looking to do so on this historic card by notching the fifth defense of her crown.

Nicolini is a decorated jiu-jitsu player who has recorded multiple victories with ONE Championship over a near five-year run with the promotion.

I spoke with both martial artists through the aid of translators. Excerpts from my interactions with these warriors ahead of their top of the marquee title fight are below.

Xiong Jingnan excerpt

The close connectivity with Meng Bo and inspiring fellow Chinese combatants

“I feel glad and feel honored to inspire so many athletes in my country or outside my country. I always want to show respect and honor in fights. Although this is the fight game that when you fight, one is standing and another is landing on the ground. I’m always trying to show people how to be a good person. To show people justice, show people kindness, and everything. I hope that more and more fighters will be inspired by this kind of inspiration.”

Michelle Nicolini excerpt

Being in the main event of a history-making card and vying for a ONE Championship world title

“So first of all, she feels very honored to be in the only female card. She is sure that everybody will be very competitive. All the girls will do their best and one will incentivize the other with their performance. Everybody will do very fine. But she is also very honored, very happy but also a bit anxious too, in part. Because it’s a high level.”

author avatar
Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.