Olsim out to prove she's 'not just some alternate' in atomweight Grand Prix

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Olsim out to prove she's 'not just some alternate' in atomweight Grand Prix
Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim (in red trunks) took a unanimous decision win against Bi Nguyen in her first fight in ONE Championship's women's atomweight division in ONE: Battleground III
ONE Championship

MANILA, Philippines — Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim will be stepping in the ONE cage on Friday in ONE: NextGen with a chip on her shoulder.

A surprise late addition to the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix due to Itsuki Hirata catching an illness, Olsim is on a mission to prove she's no pushover.

She faces India's Ritu Phogat in the semifinals of the Grand Prix.

"I believe that wrestling is [Ritu's] biggest asset, and I think I can handle her wrestling and of course, I want to prove that I'm not just some alternate that they will feed on her," Olsim said during their virtual faceoffs.

"When it comes to wrestling, I can also grapple with her on the ground," she added.

Olsim already proved she could roll with opponents on the ground when she faced Bi Nguyen in her debut in the atomweight division.

Apart from showcasing Team Lakay's signature striking, Olsim brought a surprisingly good wrestling game that lifted her to the unanimous decision win over Nguyen.

Since then, Olsim said she's still be working on her wrestling as she was supposed to face Grace Cleveland in an alternate bout which was cancelled.

Cleveland is also a grappler, and has a similar fighting style to Phogat.

"My previous fight which was cancelled was against a wrestler and a grappler too," said Olsim.

"So I think I'm very confident on my training and I have prepared on that kind game," she added.

A win against Phogat will be tremendous for Olsim's career as the Filipina will move to the finals of the Grand Prix where the winner will earn the right to face Singapore's Angela Lee for the atomweight strap.

Olsim is the second Filipino to compete in the historic atomweight Grand Prix after Denice Zamboanga.

Zamboanga exited the tournament early with a controversial loss to Seo Hee Ham in the quarterfinals.

Ham, who was supposed to face Stamp Fairtex in the semifinals, has already withdrawn from the competition due to injury.

Replacing Ham is Olsim's fellow alternate Julie Mezabarba.

Fairtex's clash with Mezabarba is the main event of ONE: NextGen while Phogat and Olsim's bout is the prelude to it.

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