Jenelyn Olsim did not expect to fins herself in the semi final of the atomweight Grand Prix. But having received the call unexpectedly the Filipina is determined to make the most of it,

“I never expected to be in this position in such a short time. But all I know is that I trained as hard as I can, I grabbed every opportunity that ONE has given me, and now here I am,” she said.

Her path to the semi final has been far from straight. She was scheduled to face Grace Cleveland in an alternate bout but the Thai fighter pulled out.

Extremely confident

Olsim was originally booked to face Jihin Radzuan in another alternate bout this Friday at ONE: ‘NextGen‘. But when Itsuki Hirata withdrew from the tournament she found herself matched with Ritu Phogat in the semi final instead.

Phogat is probably the favourite but Olsim is extremely confident,

“I am very confident in myself, I trust myself, my training, my coach, and my gym. I believe I can beat anyone they give me. I’ll accept every fight that they offer. I’m very motivated and focused right now. I want to win.”

She admits to being a fan of Phogat’s  and even watched Dangal, the movie about the life of her opponent and her sisters. For Olsim it makes the prospect of fighting the Indian even more exciting,

“Sure there’s a little pressure being in the Grand Prix and fighting Ritu (because) I like her. I was inspired by her movie Dangal so there’s a little pressure. But I am excited and happy.”

Biggest asset

Olsim knows that her opponent is a seasoned wrestler but she has already submitted one of Phogat’s teammates and is sure she can handle the Indian on the ground,

“I believe wrestling is her biggest asset, but I think I can handle that. I want to prove that I am not just some alternate, and when it comes to wrestling, I think I can grapple with her,”

Phogat’s last three fights have all gone the distance. There has been some controversial judging on recent ONE Championship cards and Olsim knows she is going up against an opponent with a bigger reputation than hers.

She is wary of entrusting the outcome of this contest to the judges and is determined to finish Phogat and book her spot in the final,

“I believe in the saying ‘don’t leave it to the judges’. I will give everything I have. I will do everything to finish the game. It’s either a submission or knockout.”