By Jun Ray Navarres
Expect Gina Iniong to return to the cage with added motivation.
The “Conviction” acknowledges that she approaches life differently after getting married to her husband Richard Araos and being a mother to their pretty baby daughter last year.
Iniong has been a full-time mother after giving birth to their first daughter November last year.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be a mom and it changed my view about life. It changed me a lot especially now that I’m looking after a fragile human being that is solely dependent on me,” said Iniong, smiling ear-to-ear when talking about her baby.
” I have learned to manage my time wisely. It’s the same with my energy, I knew how to approach things better.”
Yet as a fighter, Iniong misses the feeling of being inside the cage representing the Philippines in international stage.
Iniong was last seen in the cage 17 months ago during the ONE: FIRE & FURY where she scored a unanimous decision win against India’s “Knockout Queen” Asha Roka.
Iniong instated herself as the top 5 fighter in ONE’s Atomweight division. However due to inactivity, Iniong dropped out of the honor roll.
The 32-year-old fighter however did not become inactive outside of the Circle. She continually trains to rekindle the flame and get herself back to her old deadly form – the form which threatens even Angela Lee’s golden plated strap.
“Despite my busy days as a mom, I know I still have to keep myself fit and train here at home since we have a mini gym here. I have to keep on working if I want to be as competitive as I was back then,” said the also kickboxing gold medalist of 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Iniong knows very well how stacked the division has become since she last made action. She recognizes that the upcoming Atomweight Grand Prix will be a treat to all the fans of MMA.
“Seeing the best atomweights in the world compete against one another will be a treat and a proof of how competitive the division has gotten,” said Iniong.
“But it also tells me that I always have to prepare for the worst knowing how dangerous each of these women are if ever I face any of them.”
Lucky for Iniong, she’s definitely heading in doubly, or even triply motivated whenever she marks that return as she looks at her child as her main source of inspiration.
“Having my baby definitely makes me more motivated to fight again,” said Iniong.
“I’ve always had that drive and fire to fight, and for sure, that drive and fire just got stronger with my daughter around. As a parent, all I want is for my child to see my hands raised at the end of my match.”
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