After back-to-back wins in the Circle, Team Lakay’s Jenelyn Olsim is ready to return once again against Thai-American opponent Grace Cleveland in the historic all-female card ONE: Empower next Friday, Sept. 3 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“Ang ganda, halos nasa 95 percent na ‘yong preparation ni Jenelyn (Her preparation is very good. She’s at 95 percent),” said coach Mark Sangiao during the post-match conference after Olsim beat Vietnamese-American veteran Bi Nguyen in ONE: Battleground III Friday, Aug. 27.
“Hoping and praying na maganda ‘yong outcome ulit kasi ang ganda, mas lalo gumaganda ‘yong performance niya. Tinitignan ko ‘yong training and performance niya ngayon comparing last time, ibang iba. Panoorin natin para makita natin ‘yong results (Hoping and praying that the outcome will be good because her performacnce is getting better each bout. I saw how she performed in training and in the ring and it’s very different compared last time. Let’s watch it and see the results),” added the soft-spoken Team Lakay patriarch.
Against Nguyen, Olsim showed mastery once again on both ends with power punches, precise counterpunching, and consistent ground game.
What wowed many fans and even Sangiao himself is the near-gogoplata submission attempt which was the result of months-long training amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It would be recalled that Olsim also finished Maira Mazar of Brazil with a swift guillotine choke in their strawweight match, showing that the warriors in the famed Benguet stable have improved their fighting style through the years.
Sangiao lauded Olsim for pulling off such skill sets in a match and said his student’s improvement every for every bout is very evident.
“Habang lumalapit siya, sana mapalapit sa finals, kasi tingin ko habang lumalapit siya, bumibilis ‘yong improvement niya and ‘yon ‘yong nakikita kong maganda kay Jenelyn. Very eager, ‘yong fire nandon para matuto and ‘yon ‘yong nakikita nating results (I hope she competes in the finals because every time she gets closer, her improvement keeps showing and that’s her advantage. She’s very eager to learn and that’s the result).”
Olsim, for her part, admitted that there is still room for improvements especially in the conditioning department and her wrestling skills.
The 24-year-old Team Lakay stalwart admitted feeling gassed out in the third round in her latest bout due to Nguyen’s aggressiveness on the ground.
But knowing that she will be part of the alternate bouts in the atomweight grand prix only boosted her confidence and gave her the much-needed motivation.
“Mas lalo ako na-motivate doon kaya pagkatapos ng laban [against Nguyen], kailangan naming mag-prepare ulit agad para don sa September 3 bout (I’m motivated after my fight with Nguyen so we need to prepare well for the match),” said Olsim, who has five wins and two losses.