Teammates will always be supportive of each other, and Jackie Buntan and Janet Todd are no different.
Todd will take on Lara Fernandez for the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on July 22, Friday, and broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Buntan and Todd are training partners at Boxing Works in California and the Filipino-American star is beaming with confidence for her teammate.
“I think if Janet doesn’t stop her, Janet’s going to be winning in a dominant fashion. All rounds really. Or obviously more rounds in her favor. I definitely see Janet being victorious in this one,” said Buntan.
Todd, who already holds the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship, has a chance to become a two-sport champion if she defeats Fernandez. Not only will Todd have two belts slung across her shoulders, but she’ll also join Stamp Fairtex as the only two active fighters to hold world titles in two different sports at one point in their career.
Stamp, the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix Champion, held the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Championships simultaneously from 2018 to 2020.
Buntan stressed that what makes Todd special is her dedication to whatever she’s doing. Inside or outside the Circle, or even just outside of training, Buntan said that Todd’s attitude stays the same.
Todd, Buntan said, will always try to find ways to keep improving her craft whether it’s on martial arts on just life in general.
"Win or lose, even if she’s not competing, she’s so driven and she’s always finding a way to improve… Her drive to be better and her work ethic, I’ve never met anyone else with her work ethic. I think she can go down as one of the greats as an athlete due to her work ethic.”
Todd, however, isn’t just concentrated on herself. Buntan pointed out that “JT’s” attitude is infectious and this ultimately leads to both of them pushing each other to the absolute limit.
Buntan, despite the losing effort, put on a valiant display in her first title match against teenage phenom Smilla Sundell to become the inaugural ONE Women's Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion this past April.
“She’s always very supportive, she just told me that she can’t wait to see me back in the Circle, smarter, faster. We keep each other on the toes in the gym, we keep each other honest as teammates, we make it hard for each other because that’s good, that’s what you want, you want someone to push you day in and day out but I’ve known her for so long, I think of her as an inspiration of mine.”