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Ahead of rematch, Yamaguchi insists she won against Iniong in last meeting

Mei Yamaguchi vows for a specific way of stoppage in her rematch with Gina Iniong.

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--It may be three years already, but the pain of losing via split decision against Gina Iniong remains for Mei Yamaguchi.

Iniong and Yamaguchi first fought at PXC 43 at the Ynares Sports Arena here on March 30, 2014.

Iniong started the match on a high note, connecting on a 1-2 combo that visibly rocked Yamaguchi and a takedown later in Round 1.

Yamaguchi had a bright moment in that round when she came close to submitting Iniong via armbar,  but Iniong was able to break loose of Yamaguchi's hold.

Iniong, with a bloodied nose and all, stayed aggressive in Round 2, while Yamaguchi somehow caught second wind in Round 3.

One judge had it 29-28 Yamaguchi, but the two others respectively gave 29-28 and 30-27 scores favoring Iniong.

Yamaguchi, however, thought that the only judge that gave her the advantage was right.

“It was back and forth, but all of my team thought I won,” said Yamaguchi, who was supposed to face Angela Lee at One: Immortal Pursuit at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday.

But with Lee still recovering from the injuries that she got in a road accident recently, Iniong, who fought and won last week in Pasay, stepped in to take her spot on short notice.

[Related Story: Iniong, Yamaguchi face off anew in rematch in Singapore]

“I was glad that Gina answered ‘yes’ to the match on the Singapore card with me,” Yamaguchi said her reaction upon hearing the news of Iniong replacing Lee.

Learning from the lessons she attained in their last match-up, Yamaguchi worked on her strikes while also polishing her trademark ground game, and she thinks she can now fare well with Iniong in the stand-up game.

"I improved more in my boxing skills compared to our previous match," said Yamaguchi.

In fact, as she vowed to not let the judges determine the match, she also looks to do it via a knockout and not a submission.

“It is going to end early. It will be a clear finish by me. It is going to be a knockout,” Yamaguchi vowed. “I have always looked for a chance for revenge. This is the perfect moment.”

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno