Teo eyes vacant ONE strawweight title
Two weeks ago, homegrown mixed martial arts (MMA) exponent Tiffany Teo fired a strong statement of intent at the ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Nicknamed "Soul Crusher", Teo overcame tough-tackling American Rebecca Heintzman-Rozewski in their strawweight bout, and walked out as the victor on unanimous decision.
Now, the Singaporean has her eyes set on the vacant ONE strawweight throne.
She told The New Paper: "I want a shot at the strawweight title."
Asked which fighter she thinks stands in her way to the top, she said: "Michelle Nicolini and Ann Osman."
The 27-year-old, who left her job as a child behavioural therapist in March to fight full-time, revealed she learnt a lot from her fight with Heintzman-Rozewski.
The Singaporean said: "I feel that this fight was my best so far.
"The fight plan of dominating her in the stand-up and controlling her when the fight went to the ground went accordingly. I was outstriking her and I did more damage on my feet.
"However, I felt that I could have defended her takedowns a lot better. I felt as if I was close to finishing the fight a few times but I was lacking a little in strength and aggression."
Currently an independent fighter, Teo had objections from her "super traditional Chinese parents" when she first took up MMA.
"At first, (their lack of support) definitely affected me. But I came to a place where I realised I could not please everyone.
"At the end of the day, I am happy to do what I love."
Teo has often been the subject of comparison with ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee, who fights under the Singapore flag, but she finds that pointless.
She said: "There is a lot of comparison between us and I guess it is because we are both representing Singapore.
"But I find it irrelevant. We don't even fight in the same division.
"I have nothing against Angela, she is a tough and well-rounded fighter.
"But if Singapore wants to make MMA big, instead of pitting us against each other, the media need to recognise that we are competing in different divisions.
"There ought to be support for us.