Facing Phogat in grand prix a 'life-changing' bout for Olsim

Jenelyn Olsim may have fallen short against Indian rising star Ritu Phogat in their semifinal grand prix showdown but the Team Lakay stalwart felt grateful for being part of the historic tournament.

Jenelyn Olsim (right) attempts a triangle choke over Indian opponent Ritu Phogat in their semifinal grand prix showdown in ONE: NEXTGEN at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night, Oct. 29. (ONE Championship)

"I feel so great and I'm very happy to be part of this historic moment. And actually, this is a very life-changing bout for me," said the 24-year-old Olsim in a post-match interview. "Because I have reached this far and I know that I gave my best in every training and that I have achieved to become part of this grand prix.

"Even though I lost, it means that I need to train more and gain more experience," she added.

Olsim suffered a unanimous decision defeat against Phogat Friday night, Oct. 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium as the Indian fighter showed who's boss at wrestling, scoring takedowns after takedowns over the Igorot warrior.

Olsim, for her part, tried to level Phogat's wrestling on the ground with her counter-grappling and attempted a couple of submissions.

Phogat, however, found herself in familiar territory and used her physical strength to scramble and retake top dominant position.

Many mixed martial arts fans and personalities also lauded Olsim's performance despite the four-day notice in change of opponent as Itsuki Hirata, Phogat's initial opponent, withdrew from the bout due to an undisclosed medical condition.

No less than Olsim gave herself a pat on the back for a job well done.

"I think that I am proud of my performance. It was a very short notice, I think it was 4 days? But my opponent changed right, so some of the game plans changed but of course, I also got excited because this is the grand prix," explained Olsim, who had a 5-3 record.

"I believe that it's a bigger opportunity for me so why not accept it. Even though there's a change in opponent or whatever as long as it's an opportunity, I will accept it."

That said, Phogat advanced to the final of the grand prix and will face Thai star Stamp Fairtex, who earlier defeated Julie Mezabarba of Brazil in another semifinal showdown.