If Jenelyn Olsim was told a few months back that she’d be one win away from getting a spot in the historic ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix Final, she wouldn’t have believed it.
But as fate would have it, the young Team Lakay star has earned the right to do so.
With Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata out because of an illness, Olsim now steps into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix semifinals against Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat in the co-main event of ONE: NEXTGEN on Friday night, October 29, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I never expected to be in this position in such a short time, but all I know is that I trained as hard as I can, I grabbed every opportunity that ONE has given me, and now here I am,” she said.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunities, and I’m even more motivated. This wouldn’t be possible without the people around me.”
Make no mistake about it though, Olsim earned every opportunity that has come her way.
The 25-year-old started as a strawweight this year and she quickly made waves by finishing the fifth-ranked contender of the division, Maira Mazar. She followed that up with a hard-earned decision win in her atomweight debut against organization veteran Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen.
A win here over No. 4 Phogat would not only tow her to the final of the historic Grand Prix, it will also cement Olsim as one of the major players in the promotion, despite starting this year as a virtual unknown to fans outside of the Philippines.
While she’s nervous heading into this contest, her excitement in facing someone she’s long wanted to challenge supersedes that.
“I am very confident in myself. I trust myself, my training, my coach, and my gym. I believe I can beat anyone they give me. I’ll [just] accept every fight that they offer. I’m very motivated and focused right now – I want to win,” Olsim said.
“It just makes me excited and happy, and there’s a little pressure being in the Grand Prix – I am fighting Ritu.
“I like Ritu, and I’m inspired by the movie Dangal, so there’s a little bit of pressure, but I am more excited than pressured.”
Known for making the most out of the opportunities given to her, Olsim doesn’t plan on wasting this one, and if an opening presents itself for a finish, then she’ll gladly take it.
“I believe in the saying not to leave it to the judges. I will give everything I have. I will do everything to finish the game – it’s either a submission or knockout.” – Rappler.com
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