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ONE Champioship's Ayaka Miura: 'I'll win and challenge for the belt again'

Former world title challenger Ayaka Miura needs a big victory in her strawweight fight against Dayane Souza at "ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic" on Friday, April 22.

After falling just short of world title gold, Ayaka Miura plans to get back on track on Friday, April 22.

That evening, the Japanese submission specialist will face promotional newcomer Dayane Souza in a strawweight MMA fight on the lead card of "ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic" at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

ONE Championship dropped the full lineup for the show on Thursday, and "Zombie" immediately announced her intentions:

"My opponent is from LFA and now competing in ONE," Miura wrote in Japanese on her social network. "From what I’ve seen on video, she looks very strong. But no matter my opponent, I will win and challenge for the belt again. I’ll definitely win.

"I would be grateful if you could send me power from Japan."

In her most recent fight, Miura challenged longtime ONE women’s strawweight world champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan at "ONE: Heavy Hitters" this past January.

But while she planned to submit Xiong with her trademark "Ayaka Lock," the 31-year-old judoka could not find the mark with her hip throws or takedown attempts.

On the flip side, "The Panda" executed a stellar defensive gameplan, while her striking output was enough to earn a decision and extend her reign as ONE's most successful female world champion.

Despite the loss, Miura remains the division’s No. 4-ranked contender, and with a victory on April 22, she can stay firmly in the world title mix.

Grappling could decide showdown between Miura, Souza

Miura's judo has powered her past world-class warriors in the past, so fans can expect the Tribe Tokyo MMA star to maintain a similar strategy when she goes toe-to-toe with Souza.

"Zombie" finds most of her success on the canvas, and she will look to capitalize on any mistake by shooting for a single-leg takedown or gaining hip control.

Once on the ground, the Japanese athlete will undoubtedly search for her scarf-hold Americana submission – dubbed the "Ayaka Lock" – which has finished all four of her ONE Championship victories.

Souza is no pushover on the mats, though.

The 25-year-old Brazilian owns an 8-1-1 MMA record with two submissions, including a rear-naked choke in her last appearance.

"Monster" has also displayed strong stand-up skills with four career knockouts, so fans can expect an intriguing clash on April 22 at "ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.