Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao is confident that ONE women’s strawweight newcomer Jenelyn Olsim would show a different side of her in the Circle.
Olsim is set to return to mixed martial arts action next Friday, March 19, in ONE: Fists of Fury III at the Singapore Indoor Stadium after more than a year of hiatus.
The Team Lakay rookie will be facing a tall order against No. 5 strawweight contender Maira Mazar of Brazil.
“Nakita ko ‘yung attitude ni Jenelyn sa training. Napakasipag, napakateknikal niya maglaro ngayon. So sa tingin ko malaki ‘yung chance na manalo ngayon (I’ve seen Jenelyn’s attitude in training. She’s very diligent, very technical with her style now. So I think we have a high chance of winning),” Sangiao told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview Monday night, March 8.
“Si Jenelyn, muay thai athlete yan, striker. Kaya binalance natin. Work tayo technically sa kanya, ground, wrestling. Sa ngayon makakakita kayo ng complete athlete ‘yang si Jenelyn (Jenelyn is a muay thai athlete, a striker. That’s why we balanced it. We worked on with her technically, both on ground and wrestling. Right now, expect a complete athlete in Jenelyn).”
Olsim, who holds a 3-2 mixed martial record, is the lone Team Lakay fighter in the women’s strawweight division while her teammate Gina Iniong, who is currently on a hiatus, competes in the atomweight.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist law saw action in August 2019, where she suffered a first-round submission defeat at the hands of Australian fighter Caitlin McEwen in ONE Warrior Series 7.
Prior to that, Olsim had a successful ONE Warrior Series debut in October 2018, scoring a unanimous decision win in its third edition against Claudia Diaz of Spain.
Olsim joined Team Lakay last year in June, making her the fourth female warrior in the squad including former No. 5 atomweight contender Iniong, fellow national muay thai team member Islay Erika Bomogao, and veteran member Zephania Ngaya.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sangiao said they have been working on Olsim’s ground game and technicality, which is part of her development in transitioning to MMA.
“Ang maganda sa kanya nakikinig. ‘Yung sinasabi mo, ginagawa niya. Willing to learn si Jenelyn. Nakikita ko na malaking chance nating manalo (She’s a good listener. She does the tasks given to her. Jenelyn is willing to learn. And I can see a high chance of winning),” the soft-spoken coach added.
Mazar, for her part, had a 1-1 slate in the Singapore-based promotion with a recent victory over Korean foe Choi Jung Yoon in November last year. The Brazilian fighter of Evolve MMA has an overall record of 7-3.