Noelle Grandjean face an opponent with outstanding wrestling credentials at ONE Fight Night 22. Chihiro Sawada is also undefeated in MMA and the winner of this fight will be close to title contention in the atomweight division.

Grandjean has a background in judo and feels that her style will be superior to Sawada’s

“I think she has never fought someone who has my grappling level, and I think Khabib (Nurmagomedov) said this, that judo is number one.”

Olympic level

Grandjean has been training and competing in judo since she was a child, winning numerous tournaments. She is currently based at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and has been preparing specifically for Sawada.

The Japanese fighter is a wrestler and Grandjean has no doubt about Sawada’s credentials,

“Her wrestling is world-class. I think her wrestling is as high-level as my judo is. We should both be Olympians, I guess, at this stage, but we both switched to MMA so, now our paths are clashing.”

While she knows what her opponent is good at Grandjean prefers to focus on her own areas of expertise,

“I can’t really tell you her weaknesses, really, because it would ruin my game plan, you know? But, I believe in my strengths, which are judo and also striking.


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Big challenge

Sawada is not in the top five despite beating #5 ranked Jihin Radzuan last time out. She is undefeated and Grandjean describes this as ‘a big challenge’,

“She’s just well-rounded at this level, and everyone is well-rounded anyway, so, yeah, she’s a tough opponent. Also, she’s undefeated, so great challenge for me. Big challenge.”

She is currently based at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and says training there makes her very confident,

“I can go anywhere during the fight. I’ve also been training MMA for four years now in the best places in the world.”

Grandjean has only tasted defeat on one occasion during her MMA career. It is not an outcome she is willing to contemplate and the 27 year old believes she can become the first fighter to ever defeat Sawada,

“It can be any outcome, but why not a knockout, honestly? I’m going for the win, a hundred%. There is no other option for me. Failure isn’t an option.”