It was the first time Filipina-Aussie Natalie Gonzales Hills entered the ONE cage; it didn’t go quite as she expected, but she definitely showed good potential.
Photo from: ONE Championship
Known as “The Kilapino”, Hills went toe-to-toe with Singaporean rising-star Angela Lee in an undercard match last Friday, November 13, at ONE: Pride of Lions in Singapore.
The Cavite-born Hills surprised the crowed with her stand-up game; delivering quick punches, piercing knee strikes, and kicks while keeping pace with Lee and landing powerful rights on the crowd-favorite.
According to reports, things were looking good for Hills and even a possible debut win was in reach; until her takedown took a wrong turn.
“I knew [Angela Lee’s] ground game was stronger but when I got the takedown, I was in top position and I was supposed to finish it from there,” said Hills. “I respect her ground game. She did win by submission but I do feel that I could have won if I hadn’t made the mistake [of following Lee to the ground] that day.”
Hills was caught by Lee – who’s gaining reputation as a grappling ace – with a rare ‘Twister’, forcing Hills to tap out.
Lee dominated the ground game, grabbing Hills in a side headlock with her arm trapped behind her head, slowly cranking Hills’ torso in opposite directions, putting enormous amounts of pressure on her spine.
“I felt that my neck was trapped and I tried to turn in and at that point I knew the [Twister] was already on. I used the wrong escape and it was too late at that point,”
Despite the loss, Hills described an ultimately positive experience with ONE Championship and recalls the warm welcome by fans in Singapore.
“ONE is cool and they really looked after me and my team. It was the first time I was treated as a professional fighter,” explained Hills.
Hills is looking forward to another chance in the ONE Cage. But for now, she’s back in Australia, keeping in shape until her next match.
Did you watch her match in in Singapore?