• Jenelyn Olsim's surprise entrance into the World Grand Prix comes after Itsuki Hirata's announcement
  • The Team Lakay standout has a sneakily-adept ground game that could catch Ritu Phogat
  • Whoever wins enters the finals against the winner between Stamp Fairtex and Julie Mezabarba

Team Lakay’s Jenelyn Olsim gets the opportunity of a lifetime as she faces India’s Ritu Phogat in the semifinals of the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix.

The Filipina standout’s appearance in the tournament comes as a surprise after Japanese grappler Itsuki Hirata announced on her Instagram that she has a high fever, forcing her to pull out from the Grand Prix.

The Japanese heroine later confirmed that it is not related to COVID.

Prior to being named as Phogat’s opponent, both Olsim and her then-scheduled opponent Jihin Radzuan had mentioned in a conference call that their dream opponent is “The Indian Tigress.”

The Philippine delegation in ONE Championship is feared most for their striking game, but Olsim showed that she can fight on the ground as well, as seen in her star-making performances against Maria Mazar and Bi Nguyen.

Olsim relied heavily on her Muay Thai roots against Mazar, rocking and dropping her multiple times throughout the fight before catching the then-No. 5-ranked strawweight with a modified guillotine choke.

This led to her getting the fight against Nguyen at atomweight, in which she put on another masterclass with her ground game.

Attempting an omoplata, kimura and her modified guillotine choke in quick succession, Olsim showed that she is a highly-competent worker on the ground despite her Muay Thai background, winning the silver medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

As for Phogat, she revealed that she had been working on her striking game in preparation for Hirata’s grappling, but it remains to be seen whether her gameplan will change against Olism.

Going up against an accomplished striker in Olsim will surely have Phogat be more cautious in trying to trade with her on the feet.

Taking Olsim to the ground should be Phogat’s emphasis as she will have more chances for success if she leans heavily into her wrestling resume.

Whoever wins this fight will go up against the winner of the other bracket between Julie Mezabarba and Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex.

Both fights will be happening on Friday, October 29 at ONE: NextGen, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The card will be streaming live on the official ONE Super App and the official ONE YouTube channel in Asia on Friday, October 29 at 8:30 PM (Singapore Standard Time).

Meanwhile, the American audience can watch the entire event via B/R Live on Friday, October 29 at 8:30 AM ET.


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