Sports

Bay Area’s Ana Julaton mulling jump into MMA

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DALY CITY, California -- Bay Area boxing star Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton is planning to test her fighting skills in the tougher and more rugged mixed martial arts (MMA).

 

Julaton, who started out as a martial artist before shifting full-time to boxing, would be most welcome in the MMA because of her popularity and skills, said Filipino Canadian promoter Victor Cui, chief executive of ONE Fighting Championship, which manages a big stable of MMA fighters.

“A natural home for her is ONE FC,” Cui told Balitang America’s Dennis Gasgonia. “If she’s ready and that I’ll say that if she does fight soon, we shouldn’t be surprised.”

Julaton, who was born and raised in Daly City to Filipino immigrant parents, has posted pictures of her training in MMA, indicating she could be preparing to cross over to another blood sport.

The 33-year-old Julaton holds the distinction of being the first and only ethnic Filipina world champion pro boxer. She won the International Boxing Association and World Boxing Council super bantamweight in just her seventh and eighth fights in September and December 2009.

Since losing her WBO crown in 2012 on points to Argentina’s Yesica Partricia Marcos, Julaton has won three of four fights in a bid to take another crack at a world title.

As a kid, Julaton was introduced to martial arts by her father and later became a bok-fu instructor at the West Wind Martial Arts and Boxing School in Berkeley, California. It was there that she met and was introduced to serious boxing by her current trainer-manager Angelo Reyes, a FilAm like her.

“I’ve talked to AJ (Ana Julaton) over the last two years,” said Cui. “We follow each other on Twitter. I’m a big fan of her and we know each other well. She’s been thinking about a career in mixed martial arts for a long time.”

The Singapore-based ONE FC is currently expanding its stable of women MMA fighters, which includes Ann “Athena” Osman of Malaysia, Sherilyn Lim of Singapore and the Philippines’ Jujeath Nagaowa.

 

Its website says that ONE FC has more than a 90 percent market share in the Asian MMA market. Inquirer.net

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