This is part of The Shadow League's Women's History Month In Focus series celebrating excellence in sports, entertainment and culture.
When you hear the pseudonym “Hurricane” in boxing, most people think of New Jersey light heavyweight, Rubin Carter. However, the Bay area phenom Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton has added a different level of cache to the moniker.
Julaton is also co-host of the combat sports podcast, TSL Power Hour with Rhett Butler and The Hurricane.
As a Filipino-American boxer turned mixed martial artist, Julaton (14-4-1) joins former UFC champion Holly Holm and Heather Hardy as one of the few highly accomplished female boxers turned MMA fighters. Julaton was the first to win the Women's WBO Super Bantamweight and IBA Super Bantamweight titles. She is also one of the quickest boxers ever to win a world title, having fought only five previous professional bouts before winning the Super Bantamweight crown.
Born in San Francisco, Julaton’s father made her train in martial arts initially. However, she realized that the tenets of martial arts weren’t practical in a potential everyday combat scenario and was introduced to boxing through her now trainer-manager, Angelo Reyes.
Julaton made her amateur boxing debut in 2004, managing to win silver in the San Francisco Golden Gloves and delivered a good performance at the National Golden Gloves in 2005.
By 2007, she was ranked second among all female amateur boxers in the USA, and decided to go pro after lobbying unsuccessfully to include women's boxing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ultimately, Julaton turned pro and fortuitously met veteran trainer Freddie Roach. Eventually she became a part of Roach's large stable of boxers, which included his most heralded champion, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
She made her pro debut against Magherita “Rita” Valenti on November 2007, winning via unanimous decision. Several other successful fights followed until she met Dominga Olivo for the vacant WBC International female super bantamweight title and lost via split decision. Her next bout yielded her first title win against Kelsey “The Road Warrior” Jeffries in 2009 for the vacant International Boxing Association super bantamweight title.
Julaton followed that up by defeating Donna Biggers and becoming the first female World Boxing Organization Super Bantamweight champion on December 4, 2009. Her next fight was on March 27, 2010, against boxer Lisa Brown for the vacant World Boxing Association junior featherweight title, which she lost by unanimous decision. Julaton continued to retain her belts fighting all over the world in Canada, Macau, Mexico and Argentina.
She announced that she would become a mixed martial artist and signed a contract with Singapore based ONE FC. She is a black belt in Bok Fu, an aggressive martial arts system that combines the five animals of Shaolin – Tiger, Crane, Panther, Snake, and Dragon – with Kenpo Karate and Shotokan. She is also a black belt in Taekwondo.
Julaton made her debut at ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Heroes on May 2, 2014 against Aya-Saeid Saber, winning the fight via TKO in the third round.
On December 5, 2014, Ana defeated Walaa Abbas of Egypt in One FC Warrior's Way at Mall of Asia Arena, Philippines. Hrer current MMA record is 2-2.
This Saturday, Julaton makes her return in the main event against Maria “La Pantera” Nunez (17-12) for an 8-round fight in Mexico. Nunez is a tough, veteran title contender who recently fought for the WBO 122-pound championship in Argentina last year, losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Sabrina Perez. Both fighters are looking to deliver a dynamite performance with women’s combat sports being hotter than ever in both boxing and MMA.
Julaton is part of a new generation of multi-disciplinary female fighters forging a new path in an often-overlooked category of athletic prowess.