Itsuki Hirata will be looking to bounce back from the first defeat of her entire career when she competes at ONE 161 next month. The Japanese atomweight has been matched with Heqin Lin on a card that will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime in the US.

Hirata has been preparing for that fight in New York. She has been training at Team Serra but took time out to grab a burger from Long Beach:

Mature attitude

Judging from the photo Hirata won’t have to worry too much about her diet ahead of the fight with Lin. She looks in superb shape four weeks out from the show.

Hirata lost for the first time in her career at ONE: β€˜X’. She dropped a split decision to Jihin Radzuan but the 22 year old won the respect of fans when she admitted afterwards that the Malaysian had clearly won and questioned why one of the judges has scored the fight for her.

Hirata clearly has a very mature attitude to the sport and will have benefitted from the time she has spent training at various gyms in the US. She appears to have returned to Japan to prepare for the fight:

Perfect stage

Hirata normally trains at Krazy Bee although she has also spent time working with Shinya Aoki. She dropped out of the atomweight rankings after the loss to Radzuan and will be looking to reestablish herself with a win next month.

Hirata has suffered a series of setbacks. She was forced to withdraw from the atomweight Grand Prix at the last minute after falling ill days before the semi finals.

Hirata was a strong favourite heading into the fight with Radzuan but the Malaysian exposed some holes in her game. The Japanese star will hope that the time she has spent training at 10th Planet and Team Serra during the US trip will pay dividends when she returns to the cage.

ONE 161 is headlined by the flyweight rematch between champion Adriano Moreas and challenger Demetrious Johnson. It looks set to be the promotion’s biggest card of the year and the perfect stage for Hirata to launch her comeback.