Seo Hee Ham has opened up on her decision not to fight Itsuki Hirata at ONE 163. The Japanese fighter made weight but failed her hydration tests.

As a result Ham refused to fight her. She clearly does not like the 23 year old, who has failed weight and hydration tests on several occasions, and recently declared that Hirata ‘is not a fighter’.

At the press conference this morning she explained exactly why it was that she was so upset with Hirata,

“I can understand that she failed the weight but what I couldn’t accept was she seemed very arrogant and unprofessional and didn’t have any sense of guilt about her mistakes and just appeared too confident.”

Body language

It appears that Ham was more upset by her opponent’s body language than her inability to make weight. Interestingly Heqin Lin said something very similar after her loss to Hirata.

She accused Hirata of making no effort to make weight and felt that the Japanese fighter had deliberately come into the contest above the atomweight limit. According to Heqin she was up all night trying to lose the last few pounds by running while her opponent just stood around watching her run.

Hirata and Ham kept things extremely cordial at the face offs although it was noticeable how much taller the Japanese fighter is. The weigh ins begin at 8pm (local time) this evening and fans will be following them closely to see if more controversy arises.

War of words

It seems that the Korean would have been willing to go ahead and face Hirata first time around if her opponent had just been a little more apologetic about failing those hydration tests. But the two have subsequently been engaged in a war of words with the Japanese fighter stating that Ham is past her prime.

During a career that has seen her compete for Road FC, the UFC and Rizin while picking up numerous titles Ham has not been involved in any notable feuds.  She was asked whether the animosity between them would affect the outcome at ONE Fight Night 8 and gave a typically diplomatic response,

“On this occasion I don’t know if that will impact my fight but I will do my best.”