ONE: Model-turned-fighter Rome Trinidad looks to upset hometown bet
BANGKOK — From the elegant world of modeling to the rugged style of mixed martial arts, Rome Trinidad has grown accustomed to questions about her sudden shift in career.
And she only has one answer for that.
“Women empowerment,” Trinidad proudly said. “Usually, when they talk about MMA, they think it’s for males only. In our culture, it’s rare that women choose this profession, so I want to show that if the males can do it, females can too.”
Trinidad learned the art of Sikaran, an ancient martial arts discipline from Rizal province that she described as “foot fighting,” in her formative years of training before honing her fighting style with URCC flyweight champion Geli Bulaong as inspiration.
Now, Trinidad tests her mettle inside the cage when she faces off against fan favorite Rika Ishige (2-1) at ONE: Warriors of the World on Saturday here.
The 20-year-old atomweight will be the first to admit that she is the underdog in the bout, but that doesn’t mean she won’t put up a fight.
“I idolize Rika because she’s so pretty,” she said. “Now that we’re facing off, I know that I have to fight for the Philippines.”
Trinidad is going to lean her on striking when she tries to replicate Jomary Torres’ upset over Ishige last August.
“I watched their fight and I also talked to Jomary on what I can use in the fight. Filipinos are strong punchers, I feel like I can take advantage of our striking skills,” she said.
Trinidad is unfazed by Ishige’s home court advantage here, believing that when that bell rings, it’s only the two of them inside the cage.
“Even if this is her home country, our fight is a different story. It doesn’t matter how popular she is,” she said.
And though Ishige’s entrances have been a must-see in the promotion, Trinidad is determined to outshine those antics with a victory.
“All I’m thinking about is the fight. I will give my all inside the cage. I will surprise you all,” she vowed.
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