Olsim picks MMA over muay thai 

Published March 5, 2021, 2:37 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from Jenelyn Olsim’s Facebook account

If the 2021 Southeast Asian Games coincides with a mixed martial arts bout in ONE Championship, Jenelyn Olsim would choose to participate in the latter.

Olsim, a muay thai silver medalist in the 2019 edition of the biennial meet, clarified that the decision to stick with MMA is just for the worst-case scenario since she is undergoing continuous training for both disciplines.

And as much as possible, the Team Lakay stalwart would want to avoid the conflict of schedule.

“Sa ngayon, iniiwasan ko ‘yung conflict, but then siyempre nandito ako sa MMA at tuloy-tuloy na rin ‘yung training ko rito (For now, I would want to avoid that conflict, but then, of course I have already transitioned to MMA and I have continuous training here),” Olsim told the Fitness & Wellness Sports Zone podcast Wednesday, March 3.

“I think will stick to MMA kung magkasabay man. Kasi through previous years, I always prioritize muay thai…[now] I think I know what I want na (I think I will stick to MMA if it happens simultaneously. In previous years, I always prioritize muay thai, now I think I know what I want). I want to stick to MMA when it comes to that situation.”

Hosted by Hanoi, Vietnam, the 31st SEA Games will kick off from November 21 to December 2

Muay thai is included in Category 2 of the biennial sporting meet along with archery, badminton, basketball (3×3 and 5×5), billiard snooker, boxing, canoeing/kayak, chess (xiangqi), cycling (road and mountain bike), dancesport, fencing, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, aerobic), handball (indoor and beach), judo, karate pencak silat, petanque, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting (pistol, rifle, shotgun), table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball (indoor and beach), weightlifting, wrestling (Greco Roman and freestyle), and wushu.

In the 2019 edition, the country bagged the overall championship with 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals while Vietnam followed suit with 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes.

The national muay thai team also placed second with three gold, four silver, and two bronze medals. Thailand and Malaysia ranked first and second respectively.

Meanwhile, Olsim, who holds a 3-2 MMA record, is preparing ahead of her ONE Championship debut on March 19.  Competing in the strawweight division, she will be facing a tall order against No. 5 contender Maira Mazar of Brazil in ONE: Fists of Fury III at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Olsim joined Team Lakay last year in June, making her the fourth female warrior in the famed Benguet stable including former No. 5  atomweight contender Gina Iniong, fellow national muay thai team member Islay Erika Bomogao, and veteran member Zephania Ngaya.