Itsuki Hirata lost to Seo Hee Ham by decision at ONE Fight Night 8. The Japanese atomweight received a yellow card during the contest but afterwards she was anxious to accentuate the positives.

Of course, Hirata made weight at the first attempt which hasn’t always been the case during her ONE Championship career. Moving forwards she promises that,

I’ll work harder, get stronger, and practice a lot to get better.

Divisive fighter

Hirata has emerged as one of the most divisive fighters on the roster. With 238,ooo Instagram followers she clearly has a big fan following but has come in for a lot of criticism for repeatedly missing weight.

She also does not appear to be particularly popular with her follow fighters. Seo Hee Ham publicly questioned her attitude and felt she was making a stand on behalf of other fighters by refusing to fight her after she failed her hydration tests ahead of ONE 161.

Lin Heqin also put the Japanese fighter on blast after she came in well over the atomweight limit ahead of their fight. She also questioned Hirata’s attitude.

Career crossroads

Hirata has now lost two out of her last three fights. Jihin Radzuan handed her the first defeat of her career last year and Ham was also able to score a decision win at her expense.

She looked short of ideas against Ham and spent much of the fight stalling. Hirata is clearly a threat on the ground but was outgrappled by Radzuan at ONE: β€˜X’.

The 23 year old clearly has a long career ahead of her and has relocated to New York in order to try and reach the next level. Hirata has proved that she is capable of making the atomweight limit but will need to find a way to beat fighters she can’t take down.

Hirata certainly seems to realize that there is work to do and it sounds like she is willing to put the hard hours in. She promises to β€˜work harder and get stronger’ and will be looking to put on a much more convincing performance next time she steps into the ONE Championship cage.