Ana Julaton: Pure HEART

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista

Most Filipinos know Ana ‘The Hurricane’ Julaton as a WBO women’s boxing champ. She’s probably the most heralded Pinay boxer in recent memory. The ONE FC fight against Aya-Sayeid Saber however, was dangerous for a lot of reasons. The transition from boxing to mixed martial arts is not always easy. Saber is a long time kickboxing champion with extensive training from Egyptian Top Team.

Aya-Saeid Saber is and Egyptian Kickboxing Champion with more MMA experience than Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Aya-Saeid Saber is an Egyptian Kickboxing Champion with more MMA experience than Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Saber has years of MMA experience over Julaton, which proves to be the undoing of most pro boxers who get into the cage. Even heavyweight champ James ‘Lights Out’ Toney was mercifully choked out after being ground and pounded by legend Randy Couture.

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Acquiring the necessary wrestling skills to successfully defend the takedown doesn’t come in months, especially when you go against fighters who’ve been in the cage for years perfecting their ground game. Not a lot of people know that Julaton was trained in Asian martial arts like tae kwon do, kenpo karate, and jiu jitsu even before she got into boxing.

Julaton lands vicious left hook on Saber’s body. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Julaton lands vicious left hook on Saber’s body. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Early in the first round it was evident that Julaton had the heavier hands with merciless body shots. And she’d push Saber up the cage to get into the clinch. Then came the inevitable trip by Saber taking the fight to the ground. After the ref stands them up, Saber would take advantage of her Muay Thai punishing Julaton with leg kicks. Ana would answer with body shots and a judo sweep. Saber would reverse the position and land elbows from top. Ana suffered swelling on her forehead from the elbows of the deadly Egyptian.

Saber gets takedown in the first and in the second round locks in a deadly guillotine on Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Saber gets takedown in the first and in the second round locks in a deadly guillotine on Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Aya Saeid Saber goes for a takedown on Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aya Saeid Saber goes for a takedown on Ana Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aya Saeid Saber lands on top of Julaton on Resort’s World logo and lands ground & pound early in the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Aya Saeid Saber lands on top of Julaton on Resort’s World logo and lands ground & pound early in the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

By the second round Saber knew she could not stand up with Julaton so she aggressively went for the takedown. By the 2:40 mark Ana was able to get a reversal, in the process Saber locks in a lethal choke. The thousands of Pinoys at the MOA arena collectively held their breaths thinking this would be the end for our star boxer. Referee Oliver Coste was already crouching down to Ana’s face inches from the ground to see if she was still conscious. Her hands were active, face contorted, teeth gritting down showing she was ok and was trying to get out of it.

Angelo Reyes is the long time trainer of Ana ‘The Hurricane’ Julaton instructing her in the corner. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Angelo Reyes is the long time trainer of Ana ‘The Hurricane’ Julaton instructing her in the corner. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Ana the Hurricane Julaton lands left hook on Saber during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ana the Hurricane Julaton lands left hook on Saber during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aya-Saeid Saber locks in a lethal guillotine on Ana Julaton right on top of RWM logo. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Aya-Saeid Saber locks in a lethal guillotine on Ana Julaton right on top of RWM logo. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

It may have been the longest 15 seconds of her life, until her head popped out. The crowd went wild and knew Ana was ok. Saber suddenly grabbed her arm going for an arm bar. Out of nowhere Ana pulls her up, lifts her own legs to stand briefly and slams Saber to the ground. The Egyptian holds on to the arm for dear life so Ana pulls her back up again, stands up and slams Saber down the canvas another 2 times. Just then the ring sounds to end the round. The crowd cheers insanely for the incredible display of heart and physical strength of a Pinay.

Aya-Saeid Saber locks in a lethal guillotine on Ana Julaton right on top of RWM logo. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Aya-Saeid Saber locks in a lethal guillotine on Ana Julaton right on top of RWM logo. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Julaton landed vicious ground and pound on Saber during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Julaton landed vicious ground and pound on Saber during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

The 3rd round the Egyptian immediately went for the takedown. With the wrestling of Julaton, she was again able to get a reversal. But the Egyptian was able to lock in another deadly guillotine. This time when Julaton got out and was on top she landed hammer fists swiftly on the face of Saber. Referee Coste gave Saber every chance to defend herself. He waited for 10 more unanswered punches before he had to pull Julaton off giving the Filipina a TKO win.

Ref Oliver Coste pulls Ana Julaton off Aya Saeid Saber to stop vicious ground and pound earning Julaton the TKO win. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Ref Oliver Coste pulls Ana Julaton off Aya Saeid Saber to stop vicious ground and pound earning Julaton the TKO win. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Ref Oliver Coste pulls Ana Julaton off Aya Saeid Saber to stop vicious ground and pound earning Julaton the TKO win. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Ref Oliver Coste pulls Ana Julaton off Aya Saeid Saber to stop vicious ground and pound earning Julaton the TKO win. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014.

Having won both the WBO and IBA titles, the first Filipina to do so, she now eyes the ONE FC belt. “I’d love to be the first Filipina ONE FC Champion. For me I feel like that will be a dream come true. Just to be the first Filipina World boxing champion and the first Filipina ONE FC Champion will be the ultimate test for me. So I look forward to that.” The ONE FC league has grown with such renown that their contingent was quite large. They were billeted in Maxims Hotel, Marriot Hotel and Remington Hotel all located in the vicinity of Resort’s World Manila.

Left: Ed Folayang lands vicious left hook on the durable Boku. The fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Left: Ed Folayang lands vicious left hook on the durable Boku. The fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

left: Pinay fighter Jujeath Nagaowa overwhelmed Jeet Toshi of India w a barrage of punches to the body, FPJ style. Referee Oliver Coste had to stop the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

left: Pinay fighter Jujeath Nagaowa overwhelmed Jeet Toshi of India w a barrage of punches to the body, FPJ style. Referee Oliver Coste had to stop the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Julaton was not the only Filipina who won last May 2, 2014 in ONE FC Rise of Heroes. Jujeath Nagaowa also had a TKO victory over 7x kickboxing champion Jeet Toshi of India. ONE FC Bantamweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes retained his belt against Masakatsu Ueda by decision. Co main event, Eduoard Folayang defeated Kotetsu Boku. Pinoy fighters Rey Docyogen and Eugene Toquero won over Josh Alvarez and Gianni Subba respectively.

left: Pinoy Rey Docyogen and Josh Alvarez of Guam had powerful exchanges during the stand up battle. The fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

left: Pinoy Rey Docyogen and Josh Alvarez of Guam had powerful exchanges during the stand up battle. The fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

The Hurricane was happy to fight in ONE FC, “You just don’t know what to expect with me bringing my game in the ONE FC stage. We have a million people viewership I feel like everything’s at stake whether it’s a title fight or not. This girl was a veteran; she has a lot of confidence. Any fighter who has confidence no matter what their background is a dangerous person. So for me I’m just glad to have this opportunity to come out with the win.”

Aya Saeid Saber was looking better in between rounds. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Aya Saeid Saber was looking better in between rounds. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

As much as we notice her physical strength and skills, it’s her composure that got her through the lethal guillotine of Saber, “The important thing is that I stay levelheaded, stay focused. In my corner they told me what to do. Despite the ups and downs in the fight, its all about me and know that I’m in control. I’m in control of myself, just believe in yourself you know you worked hard and just continue on.”

right: former Miami HEAT center Ronnie Turiaf in the corner of Ana the Hurricane Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

right: former Miami HEAT center Ronnie Turiaf in the corner of Ana the Hurricane Julaton. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aya Saeid Saber was looking better in between rounds. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Aya Saeid Saber was looking better in between rounds. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

There were also a few adjustments from what she was used to in boxing, “She had 5 fights over me. It’s a different pace. I’m used to 2 minutes in the turnaround period for boxing. This is a five-minute pace, with 2 minute breaks in between. So it’s a different game, the set ups are different. It’s a cage rather than a boxing ring. There are a lot of things I need to be versatile on. I just can’t wait to get back into camp.”

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

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Ana Julaton had the heavier hands prompting Aya-Saeid Saber to shot for the takedowns. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ana Julaton had the heavier hands prompting Aya-Saeid Saber to shot for the takedowns. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Being a Filipino and a woman has had its own set of challenges in combat sports, “The only reason why I’ve been called the hurricane just so people can get my name right. There’s always been an uphill battle for me being a female in a male dominated sport. From here on out ONE FC gave me a tremendous opportunity. I’m so thankful for it and its not gonna be a walk in the park and I know that. ONE FC is all about true fighters. For me, that’s the ultimate challenge in that.”

They called her ‘The Hurricane’ because they had a hard time pronouncing Julaton—‘J’ is pronounced as ‘H’ –HULATON. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

They called her ‘The Hurricane’ because they had a hard time pronouncing Julaton—‘J’ is pronounced as ‘H’ –HULATON. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton loves fighting in her hometown the Philippines; she’s fought in so many more hostile crowds abroad. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Ana Julaton loves fighting in her hometown the Philippines; she’s fought in so many more hostile crowds abroad. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

The chance to fight and win here in the Philippines has been a special blessing, “I feel like in the next bout I’m always going to get an uproar. Everyone’s going to be calling me out and stuff like that. Which is why I’m so happy to have a fight here in the Philippines. Its so nice to have people backing you supporting you. I’m so used to go into different countries and having wana see me get annihilated. It was nice to have that change and pick me up and just help me out. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to fight here.”

top left: Trainer Angelo Reyes carries Julaton in jubilation, Ronnie Turiaf does the same before her hand was raised. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

top left: Trainer Angelo Reyes carries Julaton in jubilation, Ronnie Turiaf does the same before her hand was raised. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Julaton gets her hand raised in her MMA debut. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Julaton gets her hand raised in her MMA debut. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Early in her boxing career she credits Freddie Roach as a big influence. Long time striking coach and trainer Angelo Reyes was in Ana’s corner. Chris Ben of Xtreme Couture was also in her camp to work on her wrestling. Chris Ben also trains women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano. It was important for all those knowledgeable people to share their experience with her, “They’ve been so supportive and they kept warning me. This is an open thing for you. This is a battlefield. You gotta be ready for anything. So Monday through Saturday all I do is go sparring 2-3 times a day. You have to be ready for someone who wants to take me to the ground. What’s the position? Someone’s trying to box me. What’s the position? When they cut off the cage I gotta be ready.” Carano is set to fight UFC Women’s Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey this July.

Julaton bows to the crowd after getting the TKO win against Saber. Behind her is trainer Angelo Reyes and for Miami Heat Ronnie Turiaf. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Julaton bows to the crowd after getting the TKO win against Saber. Behind her is trainer Angelo Reyes and for Miami Heat Ronnie Turiaf. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

former MIAMAI HEAT Center Ronnie Turiaf lifts Anna Julaton in victory. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

former MIAMAI HEAT Center Ronnie Turiaf lifts Anna Julaton in victory. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

NBA champ Ronnie Turiaf who played for the HEAT was also in her corner as special friend and supporter. Julaton describes how important he was to her, “It’s amazing. This guy is all heart literally. Don’t get me wrong it was a tough camp, really tough. It’s a new weight division for me. I had to worry bout that. I had to worry about the game plan. I have to worry about new arsenal and being versatile in it. Its very easy to go up and down with your mind. It’s all about being able to stay levelheaded the whole time. One thing that Ronnie was able to bring me was a lot of perspective. I really appreciate that he’s a champion as well. He won the NBA championship with Spoelstra, Miami Heat. So its good to have a champion in your corner.” We beg to disagree Ana. Ronnie isn’t the only one with heart. You’re the one who displayed it in your fight. Ana Julaton is PURE HEART.

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Aya Saeid Saber lands on top of Julaton on Resort’s World logo and lands ground & pound early in the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

Aya Saeid Saber lands on top of Julaton on Resort’s World logo and lands ground & pound early in the fight. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo is from screen grab of ONE FC video.

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Julaton pushes Saber against the fence. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Julaton pushes Saber against the fence. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

Ana Julaton trained in martial arts as a kid, but only fought professionally as a boxer. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014

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former MIAMAI HEAT Center Ronnie Turiaf lifts Anna Julaton in victory. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

former MIAMAI HEAT Center Ronnie Turiaf lifts Anna Julaton in victory. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

Our very own Super Pinay Ana the Hurricane Julaton makes a successful ONE FC debut w TKO victory over Egyptian Aya-Saeid Saber. The historic fight was during ONE FC: Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena last May 2, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista

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