In only her second fight in ONE Championship, Jenelyn Olsim finds herself in a potentially career-changing bout.
Olsim faces Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III, which airs from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, 27 August, and if she wins, she’ll advance to the historic all-female ONE: EMPOWER event and take on Grace “Thai Kitten” Cleveland in an alternate bout for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
“This will be huge, considering that this is the start of my journey in the atomweight [division],” said Olsim, who last competed at strawweight.
“Even though she’s not in the rankings, that’s okay, mainly because I know she’s a tough customer, and a win over her would announce my arrival in the division.”
Overcoming Nguyen won’t be easy, however. The Vietnamese-American is looking to make her own mark on the division after defeating Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat at ONE: DANGAL earlier in the year.
Couple that determination with her striking skills, and Olsim knows she’ll be in for a challenge — one she is confident she can overcome on the feet or the canvas.
“I love Bi Nguyen’s fighting spirit and confidence. I really admire that,” the 24-year-old said.
“But I believe in our game plan. If she believes she can frustrate me on the feet, then let’s make it happen. Why not, right? If she’s confident with her skills on the feet, then for sure I am confident too, and we can keep it there.
“I think if [the match] stays on the feet, then I’m very confident in my chances. I come from a striking background, I competed in Muay Thai for the national team, so if she wants to strike with me, then, by all means, I welcome her.”
Not only has the Filipina represented her country in Muay Thai, but she also trains with the wushu warriors of Team Lakay, so don’t expect her to shy away from a striking battle with “Killer Bee.”
That said, Olsim sees another area of Nguyen’s game that she could capitalize on come Friday night.
“One of her weaknesses is that she tends to get overpowered, especially when the match hits the ground. That’s why I believe we’re also at an advantage when we hit the ground. I wouldn’t want to be complacent, because this is MMA, anything can happen. One thing I can promise is I will be at my best,” Olsim said.
“I expect Bi to be confident cause she’s coming off a win. But I’m coming off a win myself, and I’m confident with my skills. I expect this to be a grind. Let’s see who blinks first.”
And The Team Lakay representative has made it clear that fans shouldn’t blink either. Because if they do, they could miss an impressive ending to her crucial atomweight clash.
“I want to finish this match on the ground, whether it be submission or TKO via ground-and-pound because that feels good,” she said.
Catch all the action at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III, which airs on Friday, 27 August, on meWATCH and the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. SGT.
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