Former WBO female super bantamweight champ Ana Julaton is signed and ready to make her mixed martial arts debut on May 2, when she'll fight for the One FC promotion in Manila.
The 33-year-old Julaton (13-4-1, 2 KO) won the WBA belt in 2011, successfully defending once before dropping the title in 2012 against Argentinean standout Yesica Patricia Marcos. She fought twice in 2013, going 1-1, and says she has a background in traditional martial arts, with black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo Karate.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has this from Julaton:
"I have the background in martial arts and I've always had an interest in the UFC. But I started training in Las Vegas and that gave me the chance to go out and watch the fights more regularly. Doing that, I saw how there were so many different options. In boxing, you're limited to your left and right hands. In MMA, I understand kicks. I understand the ground game. It was so intriguing being able to fight with all these tools, not just my hands. I have been around all of the fighting arts for most of my life and this was something that just clicked for me."
Will Julaton's skills translate to the pro MMA world? I have a definitive answer for that: I don't know. And now for my more vague answer: We'll see!
I can say this, however: Julaton is a smart, savvy fighter who knows "the game" as well as how to fight. If she can have some success in MMA starting with the One FC show in May, I don't see any reason that she can't wind up on the UFC stage eventually. But she'll have to show the skills.