TRADITIONALLY a strawweight fighter, up-and-coming Team Lakay female athlete Jenelyn Olsim said she is settling well in fighting in the atomweight division of mixed martial arts.
The decorated muay thai fighter, Ms. Olsim, 24, made a successful debut in the 52.2-kg weight class, defeating Vietnamese-American Bi Nguyen by unanimous decision at ONE Championship’s “Battleground III” event in August.
It was a victory that Ms. Olsim (5-2) said is indicative of the kind of fighter that she is — banking on hard work and discipline to take on new challenges, including testing her skills against the best in the atomweight class.
“I only tried to do my best. That has been our mantra from the moment I started training with coach Mark [Sangiao] and Team Lakay,” said Ms. Olsim, a muay thai silver medalist in the 30th Southeast Asian Games held here.
It is the same mindset that she is bringing when she returns to the ONE Circle in November where she will fight against Jihin Radzuan of Malaysia in a ONE Women’s Atomweight Grand Prix alternate bout at ONE: NEXTGEN II.
She was originally to take on in an alternate bout American Grace Cleveland in September, but the latter pulled out days before, forcing Ms. Olsim to put her atomweight grand prix push on hold.
“I’m very excited to earn my spot in the Grand Prix. I know Jihin is a very good technical fighter and she’s very dangerous on the ground, so it’s something I will have to be wary about,” she said.
Adding, “I’m really happy to get this opportunity again even if I’m only considered as an alternate. This is one of the main reasons why I moved weight classes, because I really wanted to be part of the Grand Prix.”
Meanwhile, ONE Championship holds “First Strike” on Friday, which will showcase world-class kickboxing action.
It will be headlined by the featherweight kickboxing world championship fight between Italian Giorgio Petrosyan and Superbon of Thailand.
ONE: First Strike will be shown live over One Sports and One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. as well as on ONE Championship’s super mobile app. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo