Bontoc. Mountain Province – The MP LGU lauded Jujeath Nagaowa, a lady Igorot fighter, who recently seized the vacant World Mixed Martial Arts League (WMMAL) minimum weight belt.
Nagaowa, 30, a former boxer, defeated Kannika Bangnara of Thailand by rear-naked choke submission during the main event of the Combat Fights Championship Promotion under the US-based World Kickboxing League last June 10, 2018 in Hainan, China.
The champ, who traces her roots to the municipality of Natonin, Mountain Province is now the first Filipina to hold both boxing and MMA world titles.
“I am more adept in striking than in grappling, however, I saw an opportunity for a takedown and end the fight by submission,” Nagaowa said in an interview.
Nagaowa started her career title chase by winning against Yu Jie Luo to get the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) light flyweight belt in 2015.
Nagaowa, who is part of the Highland Boxing gym, now holds a 4-0 MMA record, winning her first 3 non-title bouts before grabbing the this belt.
During the regular Monday flag raising ceremony, MP Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., led the officials and employees in welcoming the champion.
“It always feels great to meet our “kakailiyans” who are excelling in international MMA events. It is indeed an honor to stand beside the only woman from the country who is one of our own to earn an MMA international championship title,” Lacwasan said.
Lacwasan voiced out the Provincial Government’s support to the MMA champions who hail from Mountain Province. He arranged a meeting with the province’s sports officials to review the local ordinance for government support.
He added that the Provincial Government will recognize the lady champ, including other athletes who gave honor to our province, when the provincial sports complex will open. The governor also extended his invitation to Nagaowa and all other performing athletes to schedule an exhibition event to encourage aspiring athletes to pursue their line of interest.
The provincial employees were all thrilled to see the champion and wanted to take photos with her after the flag ceremony.
“She is really inspiring. In a combative sport like the MMA, we seldom witness a woman in our place to reach the peak. It is nice to know that there is a lady champion who hails from our province. Her courage and strength are admirable,” said one employee of the Provincial Government.
Meanwhile, Nagaowa expressed optimism in the continuance of her MMA career and try to win more titles in order to give more honor to the people of the Cordilleras. She thanked her coach, her Highland Boxing gym family, and the people of Mountain Province for believing in her abilities to become a champion.
After her victory, she plans to hit the gym for more training and wait for her next fight. She said she received an offer from a Chinese MMA fighter who will provide her with a sparring partner to further hone her combat skills.
By: Erwin S. Batnag