MMA: Team Lakay's Olsim ready to make waves in atomweight class

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2021 01:04 PM

Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim made a successful transition to the atomweight division. Handout photo.
Team Lakay's Jenelyn Olsim made a successful transition to the atomweight division. Handout photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- Jenelyn Olsim appeared to have little trouble in adjusting to a new weight class, after shifting from strawweight to atomweight in ONE Championship.

In her debut in the 52.5kg division at ONE: Battleground III, Olsim made an immediate statement when she convincingly outfought perennial contender Bi "Killer Bee" Nguyen for a unanimous decision win.

It was a fitting follow-up to her impressive performance against strawweight Maira Mazar, as Olsim made the Brazilian fighter tap out to a guillotine choke in the third round of their match at ONE: Fists of Fury III in March.

"I only tried to do my best. That has been our mantra from the moment I started training with coach Mark [Sangiao] and Team Lakay," said Olsim, a silver medalist in Muay Thai in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

The win against Nguyen earned Olsim a chance to be an alternate in the ONE Women's Atomweight Grand Prix at the historic all-female ONE: Empower card last September. Unfortunately, her opponent, Grace Cleveland, withdrew from the card due to an injury.

While it was a disappointing development, Olsim didn't have long to wait for another shot. She faces Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan of Malaysia at ONE: NextGen II on November 12 in Singapore, with the winner emerging as an alternate for the Grand Prix.

"I'm very excited to earn my spot in the Grand Prix. I know Jihin is a very good technical fighter and she's very dangerous on the ground, so it's something I will have to be wary about," said Olsim.

The opportunity to face Radzuan came as a surprise for Olsim, but she has been keeping herself ready and has also paid close attention to the Atomweight Grand Prix. Indeed, she already has an opponent in mind if ever she makes it to the tournament.

"I am excited to take on Ritu Phogat," Olsim revealed.

"I saw that she is really good at wrestling and it's a skill that I really want to test myself against in my next matches," she explained.

But the Team Lakay star assured that for now, her focus is on "Shadow Cat."

"I'm really happy to get this opportunity again even if I'm only considered as an alternate. This is one of the main reasons why I moved weight classes, because I really wanted to be part of the Grand Prix," she said.