Sports

Tiffany Teo has her eyes on two opponents

Tiffany “No Chill” Teo is back on the prowl. 

The Lion City native capped off her 2018 campaign with a gutsy victory over eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion at Michelle Nicolini at ONE: Heart Of The Lion at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

After a three-round strawweight contest that brought out the best in each competitor, it was the local favorite who had her hand raised in victory. 

“Going up against one of the most decorated BJJ champions in history like Nicolini, it was definitely a huge test for me,” the 28-year-old said.

“There was a lot of pressure on me to show people that I had improved since my previous loss.”

Dating back nearly 10 months to the last contest at ONE: Kings Of Courage was her sole loss against "The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Title. 

A crushing defeat left “No Chill” having to undergo two surgeries, and while taking time off to nurse her injuries, she pondered hard about her future in the sport.

Revitalized by her latest win, she feels a new wave of optimism heading into next year.

“I feel much more confident in being the number one contender for the Strawweight Title now, especially since I was able to end the year with a hard fought win,” Teo said.

“I learned a lot from that loss. It made me stronger as a person, mentally and physically. So I’m definitely in good spirits and looking forward to 2019.”

Teo has now faced two of the division’s best martial artists in Xiong and Nicolini, and although she is open to competing across weight classes, her main focus is challenging for the ONE Strawweight World Championship again.

However, “No Chill” knows she may need another victory or two in order to secure that bout, and she is fine with that. In fact, she is looking to the future — a little bit, that is.

The Singaporean is interested in a potential bout with reigning atomweight queen "Unstoppable” Angela Lee, who was originally scheduled to move up a division and challenge “The Panda” for her strawweight crown at ONE: Heart Of The Lion.

“Angela’s a great competitor, but she hasn’t had many fights at strawweight yet,” she said.

“I was really looking forward to her bout with Xiong Jing Nan, but unfortunately, she suffered an injury. If it were possible, I would like an opportunity to fight her before my [next] title shot, too.”

When probed about any other challengers in mind, Teo lists fellow countrywoman and former Olympic swimmer "Mighty” May Ooi as a worthy adversary. 

“I feel me and May would make for a really interesting fight,” she explained. 

“Although it’s an all-Singapore fight, I’m definitely open to it, and she has also expressed the same after her bout against Vy Srey Khouch [in November 2017].”  

The former choir girl turned martial artist also took time to sing praises on ONE Championship’s successful signings of Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Sage Northcutt to the promotion. 

“The future in ONE Championship looks promising,” she continued. 

“Training and fighting with such elite talent will definitely help to raise our game. It will be really interesting to see how we fare against former UFC Champions next year.”

Even though “No Chill” has yet to be confirmed for any fight cards in 2019, she is relishing the prospect of compete in Singapore again.

 “I want to fight two to three times in 2019, and hopefully they are Singapore cards. It’s always a great experience. I could definitely feel the home crowd behind me during my last fight,” Teo added.

“I am working on all aspects of my game and training hard for the year ahead. You can expect to see an improved Tiffany Teo and when you do, I will be ready for that fight.”

MMA (MIXED MARTIAL ARTS)