Late replacement Olsim to prove wrestling skill vs Phogat

Published October 28, 2021, 7:45 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay’s Jenelyn Olsim would like to prove that she can level with Ritu Phogat’s wrestling skills when they clash in the semifinals of the women’s atomweight grand prix in the co-main event of ONE: NEXTGEN at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night, Oct. 28.

Jenelyn OIsim and Ritu Phogat (ONE Championship)

“I believe that wrestling is [Ritu’s] biggest asset. I can handle her wrestling, I want to prove I’m not just some alternate,” said the 24-year-old Olsim. “I don’t underestimate Ritu. But I can outstrike her, I also know her biggest strength is wrestling. I’m just not going to let her pin me down.”

READ: Despite being late replacement, Jenelyn Olsim prepared for Ritu Phogat’s wrestling

Olsim earned the spot after Phogat’s initial opponent, Itsuki Hirata, was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed medical condition.

The Team Lakay stalwart was originally pitted against Jihin Ridzuan of Malaysia in an alternate bout but Hirata’s condition paved the way for the No. 5 strawweight fighter to enter the tournament formally.

“First of all, I am very confident in myself. I trust my training, my coaches, my gym. I think I can beat anyone they give me. I accept every fight they give me. I’m very motivated right now. And focused. I want to win,” said Olsim, who holds a 5-2 record. “I believe in the saying never leave it to the judges. I will give everything I have, I will do everything to finish her. It’s either submission or knockout.”

Phogat, for her part, advanced to the semis after beating Chinese star Meng Bo.

Though the Indian rising star was fully prepared against Hirata, the last-minute replacement didn’t pose a threat on the 27-year-old Phogat, who hopes to become India’s first female mixed martial arts champion.

“Definitely do not underestimate me. I have the power, I have the strength to prove you wrong. Be careful,” said Phogat, who has a 6-1 record. “Although the matchup with Jenelyn has come at the eleventh hour, I’m confident in my skills, my training, and I know I can take on anyone. It’s not something that shakes me up. I’m untouched by pressure. I don’t allow myself to get intimidated by pressure. I know I’m prepared and I follow the course of my game plan.”

Serving as the main event is another grand prix battle between Stamp Fairtex of Thailand and Brazilian fighter Julie Mezabarba.

READ: Olsim shifts focus to atomweight division

 
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