Itsuki Hirata will be showcasing a new look at ONE 163. The Japanese atomweight took to Instagram to show off her new hairstyle with some sexy pics.
Hirata is currently training in New York as she prepares to face Seo Hee Ham in a title eliminator. It will be the biggest fight of the 23 year old’s career and she will definitely be looking sharp when she steps inside the cage this week:
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So far 2022 has been a year of mixed fortunes for Hirata. She suffered the first defeat of her entire career at the hands of Jihin Radzuan at ONE: ‘X’ in March in what was seen as a major upset.
But the 23 year old bounced back to defeat Heqin Lin by decision at ONE on Prime Video 1, even if she did miss weight by 4lbs. Her inability to make the atomweight limit does not appear to have done her title prospects any harm.
Hirata dropped out of the top five after the defeat to Radzuan. But she has still been handed an opportunity to earn a title shot with a win over the #2 ranked Seo Hee Ham.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 11, 2021
A win over Seo Hee Ham on Saturday would earn Hirata a shot at reigning atomweight champion Angela Lee. But to get the opportunity she will have to do something she has never done before and something she has struggled to do recently.
Hirata will need to beat a top five ranked opponent for the first time. She will also need to make weight, something she spectacularly failed to do ahead of her last fight.
She has been preparing for the fight in New York and has trained at several camps in the region including Weidman Longo MMA and Carmicella MMA. Hirata is taking on an opponent who is known for having heavy hands, at least by atomweight standards.
In the past Hirata has been very reliant on her grappling and judo. She burst onto the scene with a run of wins by submission or ground and pound where she was able to take opponents down and utilize her ground game.
Seo Hee Ham is an experienced and well rounded multiple time champion so Hirata will be in for a real challenge in Singapore on Saturday. But at least the 23 year old will look the part!