Jenelyn Olsim hardly looked like someone who had a tough time adjusting to her new weight class after moving from the women’s strawweight to the atomweight division.
In her first foray in the 52.2 kg class, the Team Lakay rising star sustained her rise and convincingly dismantled perennial contender Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen for the unanimous decision win at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III last August.
It was no different to the impressive performance she had against strawweight Maira Mazar, making the Brazilian strawweight tap out to a guillotine choke in the third round of their match at ONE: FISTS OF FURY 3 back in March.
Outstanding really is this transition from Olsim, yet she pointed out that what helped her in the shift is really about one simple thing: her mindset.
“I only tried to do my best. That has been our mantra from the moment I started training with coach Mark [Sangiao] and Team Lakay,” said the 30th Southeast Asian Games Muay Thai silver medalist.
The win against Nguyen should have earned Olsim a chance to be an alternate in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix at the historic all-female ONE: EMPOWER card last September, until her original opponent Grace Cleveland had to pull out of the card.
It was a disappointing turn of events, yet one that the Filipina understood. In this sport, she knows that one’s health should be placed at a premium.
Luckilyy for Olsim, she gets another shot to earn her place in the Grand Prix as she fights Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan of Malaysia in an alternate bout at ONE: NEXTGEN II on 12 November in Singapore.
Good things really come to those who wait, and Olsim is just ready to seize the opportunities given to her.
“I’m very excited to earn my spot in the Grand Prix. I know Jihin is a very good technical fighter and she’s very dangerous on the ground, so it’s something I will have to be wary about,” she said.
It’s a surprise, even for Olsim, to say the least. But the 24-year-old has prepared herself for any eventualities here in ONE Championship, so much so that she has kept a close look at her potential opponents if ever she made it to the Grand Prix.
And there’s one name who pops up whenever Olsim is asked who she wants to face in the future.
“I am excited to take on Ritu Phogat,” heaping praises for The Indian Tigress. “I saw that she is really good at wrestling and it’s a skill that I really want to test myself against in my next matches.”
That’s not to say, though, that Olsim is already looking past Radzuan. For her, it’s all about making the most of the chances given to her.
“I’m really happy to get this opportunity again even if I’m only considered as an alternate. This is one of the main reasons why I moved weight classes, because I really wanted to be part of the Grand Prix,” she said.