Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan has been Malaysia’s glowing star in ONE Championship this year, racking up two impressive victories against tough opposition.
The “Shadow Cat”, who trains at Johor’s Ultimate MMA Academy, is 3-0 in her professional career. She is now deep in preparation for her third promotional outing at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 7 December.
Striking a balance between her work life and training camp is not always easy but, despite that, the ONE Women’s Atomweight contender is as hungry and relentless as ever.
Radzuan’s head coach, Melvin “Overkill” Yeoh, explains to us how the “Shadow Cat” trains leading up to a bout.
The former ONE featherweight said his student is among the first at the door every morning.
“She comes in at 8am every day. By 8.45am she starts her strength training without even having breakfast.
“I alternate her strength training every two days, using resistance bands, barbells and dumbbells,” Yeoh said.
By 10am, the rising superstar sets off to work as a veterinary nurse, the same job she has been doing since graduating high school two years ago.
She finishes at 6pm, and maintains a clean diet throughout her working hours too.
“It’s usually protein shakes, corn, chicken breasts, and some vitamin C supplements,” The Ultimate MMA Academy head coach revealed.
“If she feels a bit too sore or tired from the training, I throw some creatine in, but her staple food is grilled chicken breasts and vegetables,” Yeoh added, explaining that most of her meals are prepared by fellow gym members who only wants the best for Radzuan.
By 7pm, the 20-year-old athlete is back at the gym, this time on the treadmill, and at 7.30pm she trains on her mixed martial arts skills until 10pm.
Yeoh described her as a tireless workhorse, and someone who never wants to stop learning.
“Sometimes, I feel the way she trains is harder than I’ve ever trained during my fight camps.
“She does break down at times too, but I’ll spend some time talking to her, and explain to her the importance of the training procedure.”
Her training camp martial arts sessions are based on mixed martial arts.
While some prefer to break it down and do individual martial arts, Yeoh explains the importance of their combined approach.
“We go full on, ONE Championship gloves, striking, with ground and pound and takedown training.
“We don’t use dummies too because I feel it is ineffective. At times we have her do takedowns with a 100-kilogram gym member holding resistance bands behind her to build up her explosiveness.”
Throughout the 150-minute training session at night, Yeoh will hold pads for her and practice striking for five full rounds – the length of a World Title match at ONE Championship.
“We just don’t practice any normal striking. I mimic her opponent and teach her how to attack against it.”
He added: “We are 100 per cent committed to improving her game.”
Yeoh knows that “Shadow Cat” is still young and has a lot to learn throughout her martial arts journey.
After training, she heats up her meal and spends some time at the gym, talking with members, guiding them, and playing with Yeoh’s cats.
The gym is truly a second home to these ONE Championship heroes and for Radzuan, it’s a place where she can work to improve, as well as a place where she has good friends.
By midnight, the athlete is back home, resting after a long day at work and training.
She never gives up, repeating this process until it’s time to taper down for event night.