Noelle Grandjean turned 27 yesterday. The undefeated strawweight decided to celebrate with what looks like a canoe trip in the Andaman Ocean.

2022 was a very good year for Grandjean who won three fights out of three, earned a ONE Championship contract and picked up a $50,000 USD bonus for winning her debut. So this year she had plenty of reasons to celebrate her birthday.


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Mixed nationality

Grandjean moved to Thailand a few years ago. She is half Thai but had grown up in Europe and started out competing in judo competitions there.

She was able to represent both France and Holland as a judoka through her father who has roots in both. Grandjean won national titles in two different countries in Europe before moving to Thailand and winning a national title there.

There can’t be many athletes from anywhere across the sporting spectrum who have won national titles representing three different countries. But these days the 27 year old is based permanently in Thailand and is fully focused on her MMA career.


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Title contender

Winning so impressively on her ONE Championship debut has immediately put Grandjean in the title mix at strawweight. She stopped former amateur champion Lea Bivins with a body shot in the opening round.

There was a lot of hype surrounding Bivins who trained with Angela Lee and her family. But Grandjean finished her in such brutal fashion that the American’s professional career might already be over.

Having earned a $50,000 USD bonus for that performance 2022 was a lucrative year for Grandjean. But the future looks bright for the strawweight who is already one of the top contenders in a division which isn’t exactly stacked.

Meng Bo ended Rayane Cardoso’s title dreams at ONE Fight Night 9 last weekend. But the title is currently the property of her compatriot Xiong Jing Nan and it is unlikely that the two Chinese strawweights would be matched together at this stage.

Such is Xiong’s dominance that she is running out of opponents, atomweight champion Angela Lee is the only fighter to ever beat her in a ONE Championship bout. So Grandjean will be looking to challenge for her belt and hoping that next year she can celebrate her birthday with a title.