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Top Japanese atomweight talent Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata is fully focused on her upcoming fight, and says she’s well-prepared for anything her opponent brings to the table.
Hirata is set to face Alyse Anderson of the United States in the quarterfinal round of the highly anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, scheduled to commence at ONE: EMPOWER, live this Friday, September 3 from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Hirata mentioned putting on a little bit of muscle and adding to her strength, and hopes the slight adjustments she has made in camp help her against Anderson.
“Foreign fighters have strong bodies, and when I lose weight, my body also becomes smaller. I don’t just want to lose weight when I train. I’m also looking to build up my muscles so I won’t lose power,” Hirata said.
“I’ve never done any weight training, but I’ve recently started doing it.”
Hirata is undefeated at 4-0, with two knockouts and two submissions to her name. She has shown exceptional finishing ability since making her Circle debut in mid-2019.
Against Anderson, Hirata faces a former Invicta FC standout, and a well-rounded opponent who will enjoy a size and reach advantage in the fight.
This hasn’t fazed Hirata one bit. In fact, the Japanese fighter remains as determined as ever to continue her winning streak and finish Anderson.
“[Anderson] has a long reach, and I feel that she made good use of that in her previous matches. This will be the first time for me to compete against someone bigger than myself. She likes to throw punches, but I don’t think she has much power. If I can withstand her punches, I can grab her. I’ve been working on closing the distance on the feet,” Hirata said.
“I don’t see her as much of a threat. This is mixed martial arts. It’s either striking or grappling. I am able to do many things on the ground, and I hope I can show that in the match,” she continued.
“As usual, I want to enjoy the fight. I want to win either by knockout or by decision. I don’t want to exit the Grand Prix in the first round. My goal is to get to the finals and win the belt.”
ONE: EMPOWER is ONE Championship’s historic, all-female fight card featuring only women — the first for a major global martial arts organization.
In the main event, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan defends her World Title against #2-ranked strawweight contender, Michelle Nicolini.