Earlier this month Jenelyn Olsim claimed bronze medal at the SEA Games. She was selected to represent the Philippines competing in an obscure Vietnamese martial art called vovinam.
It is back to the big stage at ONE 158. Olsim will be taking on Julie Mezabarba in a bout that pits together two atomweight who were eliminated from the Grand Prix.
Olsim dropped a decision to Ritu Phogat. It was her first ever ONE Championship loss and the 25 year old says she is ‘hungry’ for a win,
“Coming from that unfortunate result, I really want this match to be in my favor. I’m really hungry for that win.”
View this post on Instagram
Mezabarba is the more experienced of the two atomweights and comes from a kickboxing background. The Brazilian has told the media she plans to finish Olsim and is confident she will be able to do it.
Olsim is aware of these comments but is taking them in her stride,
“Let’s see if she can do everything she just said. All I know is that this fight won’t be easy, let’s just see who gets knocked out or submitted.”
There has been some suggestion that Mezabarba has superior striking. Olsim comes from a wushu background and does not sound overly concerned about her opponent’s stand up prowess,
“I’m 100% comfortable if this match stays on the feet because I’ve been doing this for a long time, too. We’re training well, so I’ll be ready for her,” she said.
Ritu Phogat and Jenelyn Olsim BATTLED back-and-forth in the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix semifinals! 💪💥👊 @PhogatRitu #ONENextGen #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/wyxghvlLuG
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 1, 2021
Mezabarba put on a striking clinic against Mei Yamaguchi in the atomweight Grand Prix quarter finals. But she switched strategy in the bout with Stamp Fairtex and Olsim admits she doesn’t know exactly what to expect,
“Based on her last fight, she loves to strike and mix it up with takedowns. I don’t know what her approach will be against me, but I’ll be preparing for her wrestling.”
But while Olsim will be ready for anything she thinks this will all come down to who has the superior striking,
“I’ve been seeing that she’s been pursuing her takedowns, so I’ll have to work on that. But at the end of the day it will all boil down to our striking.”
View this post on Instagram
Past and present
The atomweight Grand Prix has left the division in a state of flux. Most of the fighters are coming off losses and it will be interesting to see who can emerge from the chaos as a title contender by putting together a winning run.
The Team Lakay representative trains with ONE Championship title holders past and present like Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eestaquio and Joshua Pacio. She doesn’t have far to look for inspiration and Olsim can take a small step towards becoming the camp’s first ever female champion with a win in Singapore next month.