MMA: Olsim backs Zamboanga in Atomweight Grand Prix


Posted at Sep 02 2021 05:03 PM

Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim.
Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- After missing out on a chance to compete in the ONE Women's Atomweight Grand Prix, Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim has expressed her full support for fellow Filipina Denice Zamboanga.

Olsim was supposed to face off against American Grace Cleveland in one of two alternate bouts for the Grand Prix, with their match set for ONE Championship's all-women fight card, ONE: Empower, on September 3.

However, Cleveland was forced to withdraw from the match as she is currently dealing with a severe case of dizziness. While disappointed in the development, Olsim has expressed her concern for her foe, and wished her a speedy recovery. 

She also backed Zamboanga, who will compete in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix against South Korean veteran Seo Hee Ham on Friday.

"I want to express my support to our kababayan Denice in her upcoming bout. I wish her good luck and more power," said Olsim.

Olsim's coach, Mark Sangiao, is upbeat about Zamboanga's chances.

Zamboanga is the top-ranked contender in the women's atomweight division, while Seo is ranked fifth.

"Denice and Seo Hee Ham are both driven to win the Grand Prix, but I have to side with Denice," said Sangiao.

"I believe that Denice has really prepared so much for this match and I can see that she will do everything just to win this match and the Grand Prix," he added. "So as fellow Filipinos, we're here to support her and looking forward to her next matches."

The winner of the Grand Prix will earn a shot against reigning ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee.

Headlining ONE: Empower is the strawweight title bout between defending champion Xiong Jing Nan against No. 2-ranked contender Michelle Nicolini.