MMA: After impressive debut, Olsim targets ONE title in two years

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 18 2021 05:47 PM

Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim celebrates after beating Brazil's Maira Mazar in her ONE Championship debut. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim announced her arrival at ONE Championship in spectacular fashion, submitting Brazil's Maira Mazar at ONE: Fists of Fury III last month.

Against a known grappling expert, Olsim (4-2) showed off her striking early on before shocking Mazar with a guillotine choke that forced her to tap in the third round.

The impressive victory propelled Olsim to No. 5 in ONE Championship's women's strawweight rankings after just a single match. Yet afterward, the Southeast Asian Games silver medalist had little time to dwell on her victory.

"After po ng panalo namin, balik pa rin sa training kasi nage-expect po kami na lalaro po ulit ako," said Olsim, who won a silver medal in Muay Thai in the 2019 SEA Games at home.

"Hopefully, isa sa makalaban ko is nasa ranked No. 5 para makataas ulit ako ng rank, going to the belt," she added.

Olsim wants to chart a path that will take her to title contention within the next two years.

At the moment, the ONE women's strawweight division is ruled by China's Xiong Jing Nan, who won the title in January 2018 and has so far made four successful defenses -- including a stoppage of Angela Lee in March 2019.

"Ngayon na I'm chasing my dreams at saka andito po ako sa right team, gusto ko po sana next year or after two years, as soon as possible (I can go for the belt)," said Olsim.

"Kaya siyempre, we need to work hard para ma-achieve natin 'yung goals natin in the right time," she added.

Her teammate in Team Lakay and reigning ONE men's strawweight champion Joshua Pacio is confident that Olsim is on the right track.

"Watching her last performance, this shut down the critics sa Team Lakay na mahina sa mga ground game, sinasabi nila," said Pacio. "Kung papanoorin natin, she's a well-rounded athlete noong laro niya eh. Mapa-stand up, sa wrestling or sa grappling, I think she is ahead ng three steps sa kalaban niya."

"I think kung magtu-tuloy-tuloy 'yung performance niya, I think one or two fights, I think makukuha niya 'yung title shot. Ganoon, ganoon kabilis," he predicted.

Right now, Olsim is waiting for ONE Championship's call regarding her next fight. Her target is Ayaka Miura, who is currently ranked fourth in the division.

"Tuloy-tuloy po 'yung training," she said.

"Very grateful ako na tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang palaro kahit na may pandemic, kaya nabibigyan ng opportunities ang mga athletes kagaya ko, at saka hindi natitigil 'yung training namin," she also said.

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