Olsim unfazed with big test vs No. 5 Brazilian foe

Published March 13, 2021, 1:32 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Screenshot from Team Lakay’s Youtube channel

Team Lakay’s women’s strawweight bet Jenelyn Olsim remained unfazed ahead of her ONE Championship debut against No. 5 contender Maira Mazar in ONE: Fists of Fury III at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, March 19.

Olsim feels excited to make a “huge difference” especially after being matched up with a strong fighter in her first bout as a member of Team Lakay.

“‘Di naman ako natatakot sa kanya kasi syempre, dito sa gym pinaghahandaan naman namin nang mabuti tapos ‘yung mga ka-partner play ko ay mga champions din naman (I’m not afraid to face her because we’re preparing a lot for this and my sparring partners are also champions),” said Olsim in a video posted by Team Lakay on its Youtube channel Wednesday, March 10.

“Tiwalang tiwala ako sa training ko ngayon, kay coach Mark [Sangiao], sa mga teammates ko, sa preparation kaya wala dapat akong ikatakot. Kung ano man ang maging resulta doon, pinagtrabahuhan ko nang maayos ‘yun (I’m confident with my training right now, to coach Mark, to my teammates, with my preparation, that’s why there’s no reason to be afraid of. Whatever outcome, I know I worked hard for this).”

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.

Olsim, a muay thai silver medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, last 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, she scored a unanimous decision win in her ONE Warrior Series debut in October 2019, 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.

Read: Expect a ‘complete athlete’ in Olsim, says Sangiao

The rivalry between Team Lakay and Evolve MMA will be renewed anew once Olsim and Mazar clash in the Circle.

Mazar, for her part, is also prepared to showcase her improved striking prowess and vowed to be more aggressive against Olsim.

Known as a grappling specialist, the 35-year-old Brazilian is eyeing to score a knockout or a ground-and-pound technical knockout win over the Team Lakay stalwart.

“[We’ve been] training a lot of kickboxing and boxing, so I prefer to fight a striker because I can show more of my game,” said Mazar in a recent interview with ONE Championship.

Mazar had a 1-1 slate in the Singapore-based promotion with a recent victory over Korean foe Choi Jung Yoon in November last year to improve at a 7-3 overall record.