Filipino-Japanese Syuri Kondo aims to represent both countries inside the Octagon

Syuri Kondo

The Philippines will be well represented this weekend in the form of the debuting UFC female strawweight, Syuri Kondo.

Apart from Rolando Gabriel Dy, who’ll face Teruto Ishihara on the main card, we’ll have another fighter bearing the flag inside the Octagon. Kondo will make her UFC debut this Saturday against South Korean Chan-Mi Jeon, making her the first female fighter to come from both nations.

During the media availability day for UFC Japan yesterday at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku, Kondo spoke with Dojo Drifter about her lineage.

“Yes, my mother is Filipino, so I am half Filipino and Japanese,” Kondo said through a translator, who once visited the country to help then-budding pro wrestling scene in the country. “I’m half-Filipino.”

The 28-year-old native of Kanagawa, Japan, who traces her Filipino roots to Bataan and Leyte, is not your average MMA fighter. Not only has she found success in MMA, where she was recently crowned the inaugural “Queen of Pancrase” prior to her move to the UFC, but also in kickboxing and pro-wrestling. Outside the ring, she is has also dabbled in music and is one of the Japan’s well-known personalities.

With all her accolades, Kondo looks to reach new heights inside the Octagon. She believes that it is the perfect moment to showcase her talents in the sport’s biggest stage.

“I’m very motivated to be a UFC champion at the moment, but I became a champion in kickboxing, pro-wrestling, and MMA first.” She said, “Everybody will think that I have accomplished a lot of stuff, but I have to motivate myself to maintain my strength. But when I was looking for something to motivate me, I saw a footage of the UFC and I thought that this is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I wanted to be here. And I’m here now so I’m very motivated to become a champion.”

The self-described “strong-hearted striker” believes she has what it takes to become a UFC champion one day. And along the way, she hopes to represent both counties in every fight.

“I am thinking (sic) that I am representing Japan and the Philippines, because it’s within my DNA. I have Philippine blood in me.”

The undefeated Kondo (5-0) will take on Chan-mi Jeon (5-1) at UFC Japan in Saitama this weekend.

Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
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