THE return to action of Filipina mixed martial arts fighter Jenelyn Olsim has been advanced a couple of weeks after it was announced that she will be fighting in the co-main event of ONE Championship’s “NextGen” on Oct. 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Originally set to compete in ONE: NextGen II in November against Jihin Radzuan of Malaysia, Ms. Olsim is now battling India’s Ritu Phogat as a replacement opponent in a women’s atomweight world grand prix semifinal match.
Ms. Ritu was supposed to take on Japan’s Itsuki Hirata, who had to pull out for an undisclosed medical issue.
Team Lakay’s Olsim (5-2) is coming off a successful initial foray in ONE’s atomweight division in her last fight, beating American-Vietnamese Bi Nguyen by unanimous decision in August.
Prior to that, she competed in the women’s strawweight division and is currently the number five-ranked contender in the weight class.
Apart from an expected all-out fight between the two fighters, also of interest is how Ms. Olsim was actually looking forward to facing Ms. Phogat over Ms. Hirata in the semifinals if ever she was named a replacement.
“I also want to face Ritu. She is a good wrestler and popular. I want to test my wrestling,” said Ms. Olsim in a recent press conference for NextGen II.
Featured in the main event of ONE: NextGen is the women’s atomweight world grand prix semifinal match between Thailand’s Stamp and Brazil’s Julie Mezabarba.
The winners of the tournament semifinal bouts will meet in the world grand prix championship final, which is planned to take place before the year ends.
Another Filipino seeing action in NextGen is strawweight Jeremy Miado in a rematch with China’s Miao Li Tao. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo